Hu concedes China needs human rights improvements

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:42pm EST

China's President Hu Jintao (R) has his translator repeat a question in Chinese, concerning human rights, during his joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 19, 2011. REUTERS/Jim Young

China's President Hu Jintao (R) has his translator repeat a question in Chinese, concerning human rights, during his joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 19, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao, asked a second time about human rights at a Washington news conference, said "a lot still needs to be done" in China on rights while insisting enormous progress has been made.

Hu did not respond to an initial question about human rights at the White House news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday. Asked why, he blamed translation and technical problems.

"China is always committed to the protection and promotion of human rights," Hu said.

Hu was asked about the topic after Obama used part of his opening statement at the news conference to say the United States supports dialogue between China and representatives of the Dalai Lama and wants Beijing to respect the religious rights of the Tibetan people.

Hu said China respects the "universality of human rights," and said he has spoken candidly on this subject many times with Obama.

He said "a lot still needs to be done" on human rights in China and he said China is willing to have a dialogue on the issue on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference into China's internal affairs.

China traditionally rejects criticism of its human rights record as interference in its internal affairs.

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Comments (3)
TheRealFox wrote:
Ain’t it funny what politicians will agree to when there’s money on the table also how strange when it comes to abuse of Human Rights Politicians quickly call in “non-interference in” a countries “internal affairs” You just know straight off there’s something to hide..

Jan 19, 2011 3:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
DrJJJJ wrote:
Seems China is willing to embrace change, which is an indication of healthy leadership! Why can’t the US cut government spending when we’re in monster debt (states included) and $4 Billion+/DAY in the RED?? Please make the mental adjustment, embrace change and finally start cutting gov spending considerably and soon! Suggest making many of our government jobs PT and Temp like 20% of the private sector is! Also, let states solve their own problems or they’ll never confront their spending addictions! I thank our Chinese partners for their humble approach to business dealings and their flexability-these are good folks!!!

Jan 19, 2011 4:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
KimoLee wrote:
Our government is in the hole and kissing China’s butt for that reason alone. China remains a communist country with tight control over its people and media, a bias against females, and a massive segment of their society has little access to healthcare and is terribly poor.

By the looks of it, our government does not stand for much in terms of ideology. Kind of hard to square all the cold war anti-communist rhetoric with the “new love” for our lender China. But why should I be surprised, we created Guantanamo! Clearly, America is not a leader on human rights :D Hey, maybe we’ll get our own little Tianamen Square incident here too!

Frankly, I think we have been sold out by our leaders. They are pushing for a higher debt limit and plan to borrow more money from China to avoid actually showing the current American public the true condition of our country. Nice mess the younger generations (myself included) are inheriting.

Jan 19, 2011 11:21pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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