News / Asia

US Ambassador Says China Must Do More on N. Korea, Human Rights

Victor Beattie

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next ambassador to China, says Beijing must do more to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear program.  Locke told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday, if confirmed, he will also raise concerns about China’s human rights record.

Locke said while the United States welcomes a strong, prosperous and successful China, such status brings with it new responsibilities. He called on China to do more to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program and discourage further provocative acts, a reference to the sinking of a South Korean warship and the shelling of a South Korean island in the disputed maritime waters of the Yellow Sea last year.

“China has a very unique role given its influence and ties with North Korea," Locke said.  "We, obviously, urge China to do more to influence North Korea’s behavior.  I think the recent provocations by North Korea, and the reaction by the South, is giving China pause causing China to realize that it has to step up to defuse the situation to make sure that no further provocations occur, which then could result in retaliatory actions by South Korea.”

Locke, the first Chinese-American to be nominated for that post, said China should use its regional influence as a source of security, stability and prosperity.  He expressed concern about a recent U.N. Security Council report China has blocked that accused North Korea of violating international sanctions by selling ballistic missile technology and other nuclear-related items to Middle Eastern countries.

The report implies that the transfers passed through a neighboring third country, which some diplomats say was China. The report says one of the destinations of the banned goods was Iran.  Both China and Iran have rejected the allegations.

The Commerce Secretary said, while there are areas of collaboration, there are areas of what he called “vigorous disagreement,” including human rights where, he said, the United States has significant concerns about Beijing’s recent actions.

“Especially the crackdown on journalists, lawyers, bloggers, artists and religious groups.  The protection and promotion of liberty and freedom are fundamental tenets of U.S. foreign policy and, if confirmed, I will clearly and firmly advocate for upholding universal rights in China,” Locke said.

He said the detention of artist Ai Weiwei raises many issues about China’s commitment to building a society based on the rule of law.

Locke said he sees significant progress in addressing the U.S. trade imbalance with China, concerns about its currency and enforcement of intellectual property rights:

“We’ve got to make sure that we monitor the progress in China," Locke said, "make sure they adhere to their commitments, whether it’s on intellectual property.  The Chinese have a campaign right now that’s supervised by the State Council, Vice Premier Wang Qishan. That campaign has been extended to really ensure that government agencies and state-owned enterprises purchase legitimate software.  But, we’ve got to monitor that.  We’re demanding and insisting on accountability and audits to make sure that the Chinese follow through.”

Locke said China recognizes it must export less and focus more on domestic consumption, while the United States must export more.  He said there is a great hunger and demand in China for American products and services. Locke said, if confirmed, one of his top priorities will be in helping U.S. companies do more business in China.  

And, he pledged to reach out to the Chinese people where he said there is an appetite for more freedom and democracy.  Locke is expected to win easy confirmation in the Senate.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid