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Barack Obama to raise China’s human rights policy during visit


Washington, Nov 7 (PTI) Ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit to China, the White House has expressed concern over the deteriorating condition of human rights defenders in the communist nation and the situation in Tibet and Hong Kong.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with American and Chinese human rights advocates to discuss China ahead of Obama’s November 10-12 visit to Beijing, the White House said yesterday after the meeting.

“They discussed the deterioration of China’s human rights situation, prospects for reform, and recommendations on how the United States can constructively encourage improvements in human rights conditions in China,” the White House said.

Expressing the administration’s deep concern regarding the treatment of human rights defenders, Rice emphasized the US view that the advancement of human rights and the rule of law supports stability and prosperity in all countries, including China, the White House added.

Officials familiar with Barack Obama’s visit to China said that human rights would remain one of the top priorities for the US President, when he meets his Chinese counterparts. Obama will visit Beijing from November 10 to 12 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

President would raise his concerns both privately and publicly and these would include both Tibet and the current situation in Hong Kong, an official said.

“We are very concerned about the human rights situation in China, because it has deteriorated.The crackdown on basic fundamental liberties, crackdown on civil society has been significant,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.

“We take the Hong Kong issue very seriously and we are confident that it is going to come up,” the official added.

Meanwhile, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Benjamin Rhodes met the representatives of non-governmental organisations working to promote human rights and democracy in Myanmar.

“Rhodes noted that human rights and democracy are at the core of our bilateral agenda with Myanmar, engaged the group on their concerns about the challenges confronting reform in Burma, and outlined the President’s priorities for future engagement with the Government of Myanmar,” the White House said.

“He also discussed the status of the ongoing ceasefire negotiations with ethnic nationalities, the 2015 elections, the importance of establishing an office representing the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Myanmar, and concerns about media freedoms, protection of the rights of women, and political prisoners,” the White House said.

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