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Bush Arrives in China


President Bush has arrived in China on the third stop of an eight-day trip to Asia. President Bush says China should give its people greater freedoms, holding up rival Taiwan as an example of successful Asian democracy.

President Bush will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during his stop in Beijing.

They are expected to discuss the just-concluded summit of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation forum as well as efforts to better protect intellectual property rights.

U.S. officials say President Bush will bring up the growing trade imbalance between the countries. Americans import six dollars worth of goods from China for every one dollar of U.S. products sold in China.

President Bush has said he would like to see China's government follow through on promises to further loosen controls on the value of its currency.

In addition to economic reforms, President Bush is expected to discuss political change in China and what he says is the need for the Chinese people to have greater freedoms to express themselves, to worship without state control, and to print Bibles and other sacred texts without fear of punishment.

Earlier in this trip, Mr. Bush gave a speech in Japan where he said Chinese leaders can help their country grow into a modern, prosperous, and confident nation by meeting, what he called, the legitimate demands of its citizens for freedom and openness.

"As China reforms its economy, its leaders are finding that once the door to freedom is open even a crack, it cannot be closed," the president said. " As the people of China grow in prosperity, their demands for political freedom will grow as well."

During that speech, Mr. Bush held-up modern Taiwan as an example of a nation that has moved from repression to democracy as it has liberalized its economy - advancing freedom at all levels and delivering prosperity while creating a democratic Chinese society.

That drew a sharp response from some Chinese officials. Foreign Minister spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters that China has made remarkable achievements in improving human rights and the Chinese people fully enjoy democracy and freedom, protected by laws and regulations, including freedom of religious belief.

Mr. Liu said the situations in Taiwan and mainland China are different and he hopes the United States can have a correct understanding of that, saying countries should conduct human-rights dialogue and exchanges on the basis of equality, mutual respect, and the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

President Bush says his critique of China and praise for rival Taiwan - which Beijing regards as a renegade province - does not change America's one-China policy stressing the need for dialogue to resolve those differences peacefully.

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