Saturday, February 21, 2009
Regular readers of this Blog know I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. I didn’t support her bid to be the Democratic nominee for president and I think her celebrated liberal bona fides is a construct of paleo-feminists and the media.
So, it came as no surprise to learn activists were “shocked” Secretary of State Clinton vowed not to let human rights abuses hinder cooperation with China.
Paying her first visit to Asia as the top US diplomat, Clinton said the United States would continue to press China on long-standing US concerns over human rights such as its rule over Tibet.
“But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere on the global climate change crisis and the security crisis,” Clinton told reporters in Seoul just before leaving for Beijing.
T. Kumar of Amnesty International USA said the global rights lobby was “shocked and extremely disappointed” by Clinton’s remarks.
“The United States is one of the only countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on” he said.
“But by commenting that human rights will not interfere with other priorities, Secretary Clinton damages future US initiatives to protect those rights in China,” he said.
Students for a Free Tibet said Clinton’s remarks sent the wrong signal to China at a sensitive time.
“The US government cannot afford to let Beijing set the agenda,” said Tenzin Dorjee, deputy director of the New York-based deputy director of the New York-based advocacy group.
China has been pouring troops into the Himalayan territory ahead of next month’s 50th anniversary of the uprising that sent Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama into exile in India.