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Feb 29,2008
China defends human rights record
by UPI

BEIJING - Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Thursday dismissed criticism of his country's human rights record, a published report said.

Yang, rejecting criticism by some human rights groups, said the Chinese government is not cracking down on political dissent ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics, The Financial Times reported.

"The Chinese people enjoy extensive freedom of speech," Yang said at a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

"You could ask 10 people on the street to stand in front of public security officers and freely say 'human rights are far more important than the Olympics' 10 times or even 100 times and I'll see which officer arrests them," Yang said. "If they get tired, the public security officer would probably offer them a cup of tea."

Yang last week announced at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that China was willing to resume a human rights dialogue with the United States from which it had withdrawn in 2004, the newspaper reported.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Related news
Rice urges China to influence North Korea by UPI posted on Feb 26,2008

China under growing pressure over Tibet by UPI posted on Mar 21,2008

U.S. raps China on dissident sentencing by UPI posted on Apr 04,2008

Hu says confident about Olympics by UPI posted on Apr 11,2008

HRW: China media freedom under assault by UPI posted on May 31,2007

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