President Bush Speaks Out About Human Rights, Forced Abortions in China
by Steven Ertelt
August 7, 2008
Bankok, Thailand (LifeNews.com) — President Bush headed to China for the opening of the Summer Olympics, but he made a stop in Thailand first to deliver a speech excoriating China for its poor record on human rights. That record includes a coercive family planning policy that forces women to have abortions if they become pregnant twice.
Bush said that the relationship the United States has built with China has allowed him to be honest and forthright with the nation’s leaders about the problems.
"I have spoken clearly and candidly and consistently with China’s leaders about our deep concerns over religious freedom and human rights," he said. "I have met repeatedly with Chinese dissidents and religious believers."
"The United States believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings. So America stands in firm opposition to China’s detention of political dissidents and human rights advocates and religious activists," he explained.
One of the leading activists who has been imprisoned is Chen Guangcheng, a blind attorney who was preparing a class action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of women in Linyi who were victims of forced abortions and sterilizations.
Local officials jailed him on bogus property destruction charges stemming from a protest on his behalf that he didn’t attend, and prevented his attorneys from representing him.
Chen is now imprisoned on a four-year prison charge and has been beaten repeatedly in jail.
Bush said China’s "trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential."
"We press for openness and justice not to impose our beliefs, but to allow the Chinese people to express theirs," Bush concluded. "Ultimately, only China can decide what course it will follow. America and our partners are realistic, and we’re prepared for any possibility. I’m optimistic about China’s future."
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