News / Asia

White House: Specific Human Rights Cases Raised With Xi

China's Vice President Xi Jinping leaves the stage after speaking to the US-China Business Council in Washington, February 15, 2012.
China's Vice President Xi Jinping leaves the stage after speaking to the US-China Business Council in Washington, February 15, 2012.

The White House says President Barack Obama raised specific human rights cases in talks with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.

A day after Vice President Xi's talks in the Oval Office, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that Obama raised individual human rights cases during the discussion. A White House official declined to provide details when asked which cases Obama discussed with Xi.

A new poll finds Americans have generally positive and optimistic views about China and U.S.-China relations. Most would not call China an enemy, but would also not call them an ally. Major concerns among Americans are China’s growing trade imbalance with America along with China’s growing military.

VOA’s Ira Mellman spoke with Cynthia English, a research consultant with Gallup, the U.S. polling company that did the survey in cooperation with the China Daily USA newspaper.

Carney told reporters accompanying Obama on a cross-country trip that the president raised "the importance of human rights and America's commitment to universal values directly to Vice President Xi" and the situation in Tibet.

Before Xi's arrival in Washington, analysts suggested that specific human rights cases probably would not come up in talks with someone who is only the presumptive next president of China.

How aggressive the Obama administration has been with China on human rights was the topic of a congressional hearing that occurred on the first full day of Xi's visit.

At the hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, two Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of being weak in pressing China on human rights.

"I think this administration has been a total failure [on human rights issues]," said Republican Representative Frank Wolf.

Jared Genser, the U.S. attorney representing Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese human rights lawyer thought to be held by Chinese authorities, said it is good that individual cases were raised during Xi Jinping's visit.

He said outcomes are important, however, and that "quiet diplomacy" with Beijing by the Obama administration does not appear to have worked.

"Unfortunately, we have seen China moving in the wrong direction, and I just don't see the results. As a result of that, my view is that the administration needs to look at changing its tactics because the existing set of tactics that it has been deploying - whether or not you characterize it as quiet diplomacy - whatever it is, it is just not working," said Genser.

In response to criticism that the Obama administration diplomacy with China has not worked, a White House official referred to Vice President Joe Biden's remarks on Tuesday at a State Department lunch for Vice President Xi.

Biden said the United States made clear its concern that "conditions in China have deteriorated and about the plight of several very prominent individuals." Biden said the United States appreciated China's response, but it is unclear what that response was.

Meanwhile, the State Department questioned the accuracy of a report in The Washington Post newspaper saying that China denied a visa to the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, in the days leading up to the Xi visit.

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said China had not acted on the visa, but also had not denied it, and that Cook still intends to make the trip.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More