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No one can feel secure in China: Rice

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

A top Obama administration official has said that no one can feel secure in China as the country impose strict restrictions on the fundamental rights of its people.

"The Chinese people are facing increasing restrictions, on their freedoms of expression, assembly and association. When people in China cannot hold public officials to account for corruption, environmental abuses, problems that affect China as well as the world go unaddressed," US National Security Advisor Susan Rice said in her major policy speech on human rights.

"When courts imprison political dissidents who merely urge respect for China's own laws, no one in China -- including Americans doing business there -- can feel secure.

"When ethnic and religious minorities, such as Tibetans and Uyghurs, are denied their fundamental freedoms, the trust that holds diverse societies together is undermined. Such abuses diminish China's potential from the inside," Rice said.

Rice said in this new century, there are few relationships more complex or important than the one between the United States and China. Building a constructive relationship with China is crucial to the future security and prosperity of the world as a whole.

"We value China's cooperation on certain pressing security challenges, from North Korea to Iran. Our trade relationship, one of the largest in the world, supports countless American jobs. And that is precisely why we have a stake in what kind of power China will become, and that is why human rights are integral to our engagement with China," she said.

"So the United States speaks clearly and consistently about our human rights concerns with the Chinese government at every level, including at this year's summit between President Obama and President Xi at Sunnylands," she said.

US officials engage their Chinese counterparts directly on specific cases of concern, like that of Liu Xiaobo, as well as about broader patterns of restrictive behaviour.

"We voice our condemnation publicly when violations occur," Rice said.

In her speech, Rice said China is not the only country where human rights of people are being violated. She castigated Russia for its anti human rights deeds.

"The same is true of Russia... We don't remain silent about the Russia government's systematic efforts to curtail the actions of Russian civil society, to stigmatise the LGBT community, to coerce neighbours like Ukraine who seek closer integration with Europe, or to stifle human rights in the North Caucasus," she said.

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First Published: Thu, December 05 2013. 03:55 IST