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U.S. sponsors resolution on China's rights abuses
The Epoch Times
The United States announced plans to introduce a resolution on China's human rights practices at the 2004 U.N. Commission on Human Rights meeting in Geneva.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said, “The United States has been disappointed by China’s failure to meet the commitments made at the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue in December 2002 as well as its failure to follow through on its stated intention to expand cooperation on human rights in 2003.”
“We are also concerned about backsliding on key human rights issues that has occurred in a variety of areas since that time.” he continued.
China immediately announced it was suspending its human rights dialogue with the United States. Reuters news agency reported that Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang told U.S. Ambassador Clark Randt, "The United States should bear all consequences that might arise from this."
The State Department announcement comes a week after a leading human rights organization called upon the U.S. to criticize China for its human rights violations.
“If President Bush needs more proof of China’s abusive practices, he need look no further than the litany of violations detailed in the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report,” according to Brad Adams, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia Division.
In a statement issued March 17, Human Rights Watch said that China’s recent release of political prisoners such as the Tibetan nun Phuntsog Nyidron and Uighur businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer was an attempt to stave off a resolution without actually changing its human rights practices.
The State Department’s own annual human rights report, issued on February 25, condemned China for its worsening human rights record, citing an in crease in the arrests of democracy activists and Internet essayists, stepped up repression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and a continuing crackdown on Muslim Uighurs in the name of fighting terrorism.
The U.N. Commission on Human Rights is in session March 15 through April 23. More than 3,000 delegates from member and observer States and from non-governmental organizations participate in the meetings each year.
The U.S. is urging other Commission members to support its resolution. It has introduced a similar resolution nearly every year since the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
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