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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs