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US lawmaker reminds Hu of right abuses in China

January 21, 2011 02:09 IST
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican from Florida, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committtee, personally handed over to visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao a letter she had sent President Barack Obama prior to his summit with Hu, urging him to raise US concerns over Beijing's policies, including its 'deplorable human rights record."

Ros-Lehtinen, who was among US lawmakers who attended a bi-partisan Congressional meeting on Thursday morning with Hu, said, "At the onset of the meeting, I hand-delivered to the Chinese leader a copy of a letter I sent to President Obama outlining strong concerns about Chinese actions on the security, economic, and human rights fronts. I then had an opportunity at the end of Thursday's meeting to challenge Mr Hu to free Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, and other dissidents held in prison, to respect the rights of the Tibetan and Uyghur people, to end the persecution of the underground Christians and Falun Gong practitioners, and to end China's policy of forced abortion," she added.

Ros-Lehtinen said, "Out of all of the issues I raised, the only one which received a response from Mr Hu was my statement urging the end of China's forced abortion policy.  I was astonished when he insisted that such a policy does not exist."

She said, "Chinese policies and actions are not those of a responsible actor. The US and China do not share values and principles as some have claimed in recent days. A regime which shows a blatant disregard for the basic human dignity and rights of its citizens, which facilitates the proliferation activities of a pariah state like Iran, and which stands in the way of efforts by responsible nations to address the threats posed by Iran, North Korea, and other dangerous regimes, has little in common with the US."

Ros-Lehtinen said, "It is my hope that, going forward, the US will implement a policy towards China which more strongly stands up for our interests and our values."  

Aziz Haniffa in Washington,DC