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Bush to Sharpen Critique of China Before Visit

U.S. President George Bush travels Thursday to China, where he will attend the opening of the 2008 Olympic Games Friday.

Before leaving for Beijing, Mr. Bush is scheduled to give a speech in Thailand criticizing China's human rights record.

Excerpts of the speech released by the White House quote Mr. Bush as saying the United States "stands in firm opposition" to China's detention of political, human rights and religious activists.

China is the final stop on Mr. Bush's three-nation tour of Asia. He flew to Thailand Wednesday from South Korea.

In Thailand, the president praised Washington's 175-year-old relationship with that nation, pledging greater cooperation on security and health issues.

Speaking in Bangkok, Mr. Bush said the U.S. has contributed $35 million to Thailand's fight against HIV/AIDS, and is helping efforts to control bird flu.

He also thanked Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej for being an ally in the fight against terrorism. Thailand has sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq. It also hosts Cobra Gold, one of the largest multilateral military training exercises in Southeast Asia.

Mr. Bush said the U.S. and Thailand are cooperating to help the people of Burma, which was devastated by a powerful cyclone. He said they want to see prosperity and freedom restored to military-ruled Burma. The president is also expected to discuss Burma in his speech Thursday in Thailand.

Also Thursday, the president's wife, Laura, will visit a refugee camp and clinic along the Thai-Burmese border.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.