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Bush to press China on rights

ICC Note:


2/29/08 China ( US President George W. Bush vowed overnight to press China to respect human rights and religious freedoms when he attends the Beijing Olympics later this year.

“I’m looking forward to the athletic competition, but that will not preclude me from meeting with the Chinese president and expressing my deep concerns about a variety of issues.”

In a report issued last year on religious freedoms around the world, the US State Department slammed China for expelling more than 100 foreign missionaries in the spring of 2007.

And Mr Bush vowed: “I will talk about the religious freedom and the importance of China recognising that if you’re allowed to worship freely it will benefit the society as a whole.

“The Chinese government should not fear the idea of people praying to a god as they see fit.”

Mr Bush also said overnight he would raise the issues of “Darfur and Iran and Burma” during his visit to Beijing.

“I am not in the least bit shy,” he said.

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