State Dept Human Rights Report Contrasts With Hillary Clinton on China, Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 26, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

State Dept Human Rights Report Contrasts With Hillary Clinton on China, Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 26
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The State Department on Wednesday released a report that was largely drafted at the end of the Bush administration criticizing China for its human rights record. The report blasts the Asian nation in part for its one-child policy that involves forced abortions and sterilization for those who violate the rule.

The report comes in stark contrast to the comments Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made that put addressing human rights abuses behind economic issues.

While she said the administration of President Barack Obama would continue to lobby for human rights reforms, "our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis."

Covering 2008, the new State Department report notes that the number of human rights abuses jumped just before the August Beijing Olympics.

"The government of China’s human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas," the 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices states.

Chinese officials reacted angrily to the new report.

"We urge the U.S. side to reflect on its own human rights problems, stop acting as a human rights guardian, stop interfering in others’ internal affairs by issuing such human rights reports," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said, according to AP.

Clinton’s comments reflect the lower-key approach the Obama administration is taking to China and its forced abortion campaign. Obama plans to use private talks with Chinese leaders as its main method of trying to curb the abuses rather than relying on public pronouncements and condemnations that the Bush administration used.

However, that backing down from publicly holding China accountable hasn’t gone over well with some of the leading figures working to stop the abusive population control regime.

Led by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican, several pro-life members said Clinton’s comments undermine the long-fought campaign for human rights in China and fail the civil society groups in China and those suffering human rights abuses.

“In a shocking display of pandering, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made it clear in Beijing, that the Obama Administration has chosen to peddle U.S. debt to the largest dictatorship in the world over combating forced abortion" and other abuses, Smith said.

“Secretary Clinton said concern for the protection of human rights of the Chinese people can’t ‘interfere’ with the economic crisis, climate change, and security – as if human rights were somehow disconnected and irrelevant to those issues," he told a press conference Tuesday in the Capitol Building.

“Everyday, brave Chinese risk their lives and liberty in the pursuit of freedom, democracy, protection of the family and respect per human rights,” Smith added in the statement received. "It is too much to ask that our Secretary of State firmly and boldly raise human rights rather than a tin cup?"

“The Obama Administration effectively dismissed, devalued, and debased human rights – especially women’s rights – in the People’s Republic of China,” Smith concluded.

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