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Ear to the Ground

Dissidents Are Held Back as Clinton Holds Forth in China

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Posted on Feb 21, 2009
Hillary Clinton and Yang Jiechi
AP photo / Greg Baker, Pool

Madame Secretary: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is greeted by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Saturday.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this weekend made her first visit to China in her new role, but Amnesty International and other activist groups didn’t like her position when it came to addressing China’s treatment of dissidents—more specifically, she didn’t take a firm stand on the issue during her meetings with Chinese officials.


Times Online:

As foreign minister Yang Jiechi welcomed her with a broad smile, he observed that it was “a bit chilly” in Beijing but promised Clinton she would see “the biggest number of smiling faces”.

Yang told the British press last year that Chinese police would “offer a cup of tea” to any protesters at the Beijing Olympics, yet dozens of Chinese were jailed for trying to protest.

Clinton told a joint news conference that the two would have “frank discussions” on human rights, Tibet, religious freedom and freedom of expression. She thanked China for continuing to invest in US government debt. Yang responded that China would allocate its $20 trillion of foreign currency reserves as it saw fit.

Outside in the snow, security agents in Beijing surrounded the homes of writers and thinkers behind Charter 08, the boldest public petition for Chinese freedom in 20 years. Some contacted reporters by text message to say they could not go out.

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By Billy the Kid, February 24, 2009 at 8:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why did Hillary had to spend taxpayers money to go to China with all those Clinton’s chinese friends and their financial contributions (read bribes) to the Clintons?!

But at least Hillary did not put a scarf over her head as Nancy Pelosi did a couple of years ago when Pelosi met with leaders of terrorism sponsoring countries without being authorized to talk with them by our government…

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By Walter, February 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amnesty International has its head in the sand on criticizing Secretary State Clinton on bringing up the human rights issue in her visit to China. 

Hello.  The U.S. is on the edge of a housing and financial crisis and fortunately or unfortunately China is the only country which has a cash surplus that can help us pull our country out of this impending disaster.

Take a vacation Amnesty International.  When the US is healthy again financially and people are not worry about keeping their home, finding a job or where the next meal is coming from, then we can talk about human rights. 

WQChin

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By NYCartist, February 22, 2009 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment

I read the other comments first.  “Rollzone”, thanks for the unintentional laugh.  Now, she only has to satisfy the US President in re foreign policy. (I couldn’t resist that.)

On the serious side: I was thinking as I read the article, what does that mean for us, here, in the future?  Then I realized: wait! Didn’t Mayor Bloomberg illegally “arrest” and detail people who were either watching the peaceful protests or arresting the peaceful demonstrators and holding them overlong, illegally during the Republican National Convention in 2004?  Didn’t the Minn. police arrest/charge and now go forward on their local “patriot” legislation to try people for “felonies” who were in jail (pre-emptively) during the Republican National Convention in 2008 for some kind of “unpatriotic” acts they couldn’t have done, since they were in jail at the time?  Yup.  On the latter: recent coverage on http://www.democracynow.org  Ditto for earlier on RNC, because the cases resulting from the illegal NYPD behavior, may still be ongoing in court.

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By P. T., February 22, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

You look kind of ridiculous lecturing other countries on their bad human rights records when your own country has just supplied the weapons with which to destroy Gaza, including U.N. shelters and food warehouses.

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By Tim Kelly, February 22, 2009 at 9:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I posted the following quote in another thread, to draw attention to those Obama supporters who wanted to give Obama a chance to back up his claim that he would set the agenda, not his Cabinet picks:

“Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises,” Clinton said in talks with China’s foreign minister.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/21/clinton.chin a.asia/index.html

Therefore, we can conclude that this is Obama’s agenda.  As progressives and liberals, when do we begin to stop the Obama agenda?

tim

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By jackpine savage, February 22, 2009 at 8:44 am Link to this comment

Seriously, people are surprised?  You don’t preface a mortgage application with haranguing the banker about how he behaves towards his family.

http://electricworry.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/money-talks/#more-567

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Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, February 22, 2009 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

Hillary’s the Third Repug in Obama’s cabinet.Funny she could scrap up a $1.25 from those 18 million Dem supporters to pay off her Repug co sponsored attack on Obama during the primaries.Apparently the majority of her supporters quit when she should have earlier in the year.Or she never really had 18 million to start with- Doesn’t the votes come under suspecion when you can’t get the money to back up the claim?Money Talks, BS claims to votes Walks.
As such, is it any surprise she had no intentions of talking about those pesky ‘human rights’ issues when Trade is your focus.Won’t want to piss off the Lenders would we? Wouldn’t want China to adopt fair labor laws either- that would kill the profit margins of the Multinational corps, using the Chinese as slave labor. god knows the Lead laden protects have been so useful in dumbing down americans we wouldn’t want to cut off the Toxic supply- She’s still Eyeing the Presidency and needs more people to be dimwitted and forgetful, by ‘16 (or will it be ‘12?). If Obama actually gets this ‘green’ energy moving, what will happen to her and Bills financial backers in the ME??? How will they maintian that Library, their lifestyle?
having voted for the SOB twice, spent the ‘90’s constantly defending them- I can’t stand to see or hear from either anymore- Kicked the can down the road and screwed US good, Didn’t ya?
My skin crawls everytime I see her, like it has when ever DICK slithters out of his Shadowy Hole!She’s nothing more than a Repug in a blue pantsuit- always has been, always will be.

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By Outraged, February 22, 2009 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Clinton told a joint news conference that the two would have “frank discussions” on human rights, Tibet, religious freedom and freedom of expression.”

But H. Clinton you of ALL people should know that talk is cheap.  The proof is in the pudding.

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By t.c., February 21, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mind your own business.

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By rollzone, February 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

the clinton legacy continues: as the woman whom could not satisfy her husband when he was the president of the United States, now gets to bask in the limelight; as the gracious socialist pointlady; only ever seen in her gluttonous glow, until it will be her time, to alight upon her throne, in the White House. Hilary struck a deal for her position, and she doesn’t follow any agenda; but her own. do not look to her to improve any relations around the world with good humanitarians, she is only a friend of money; at any cost.

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By Pity., February 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Someone needs to talk to them. Unfortunately, China is swaying between two sides- the United States, and the Russian Federation. It is only logical that someone not busy in internal affairs at the moment should try to influence a potential ally.

And I’m saying that as someone born in the Ural Mountains.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 21, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Who is going to talk about the dissidents in China when we have Guantanamo and the Patriot act.

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