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Condoleezza Rice Presses Chinese Leaders on Human Rights, Sanctions Against Zimbabwe


U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has pressed Chinese leaders on human rights issues and sanctions against Zimbabwe. But Rice had words of praise for U.S.-China relations and Beijing's efforts in hosting talks to de-nuclearize North Korea. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

Secretary Rice met separately with China's Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao on the last day of her two-day visit to China.

The two sides had mainly good words for bilateral relations and cooperation.

The Chinese leaders expressed thanks for American donations and aid workers who helped victims of the Sichuan earthquake. Rice said such grass root cooperation was essential to future relations.

"It is important to have good relations, constructive relations between governments, but relations between our peoples are what really sustain a U.S.-China relationship well into the future," she said.

The highest-ranking U.S. diplomat and Chinese leaders discussed a range of issues including Washington's concerns about human rights in China.

Rice brought up the issue of China's controls on the internet and jailing dissidents who speak out against the government.

Rice had earlier said she would urge Chinese leaders to support U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe. The U.S. wants an arms embargo and travel restrictions against the government of Robert Mugabe for suppressing political opponents and their supporters.

But China gave no indication it is willing to support the initiative.

Rice had earlier thanked Chinese leaders for hosting talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea last week turned over a long overdue declaration of its nuclear program and destroyed one of its nuclear facilities.


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