Uphold human rights, Clinton tells China

A protester holds a banner in support of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng during a demonstration in Hong Kong. [AFP]
PHOTO

A protester holds a banner in support of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng during a demonstration in Hong Kong. [AFP]

VIDEO from Australia Network News

China correspondent Stephen McDonell

Created: 04/05/2012

AUDIO

Chinese dissident leaves US embassy

Created: 02/05/2012

Last Updated: Sat, 5 May 2012 00:45:00 +1000

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, winding up a visit to Beijing, has called on all countries to uphold human rights.

She held two days of talks in the Chinese capital, overshadowed by the case of a blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, who initally took refuge in the American embassy.

In an appearance with Chinese leaders, Mrs Clinton said: "The United States continues to raise human rights because we believe that they are essential for every country to uphold, and we raise specific matters of individuals and situations whenever necessary.

"We cannot ignore our areas of difference in the comprehensive relationship that we are building."


Controversial


Chen left US protection under a controversial deal but has since said that he wants to go to the United States.

The US denied reports he was coerced into leaving the American embassy.

A human rights lawyer who tried to visit Chen in hospital says he was beaten by a policeman and later confined at home.

Jiang Tianyong was taken away by five police officers outside the Chaoyang Hospital without explanation.

He told the Kyodo news agency by telephone from his Beijing home that a police officer named Du Yuhui attacked him while in detention. "(He) came up to me and punched me on my ears and chest. I lost all my hearing last night and still can't hear very well now,'' Jiang said.

Guard on house


Twelve officers have been posted outside his house.

Chen is an outspoken critic of forced abortions. He went to the the US embassy after escaping from home detention last month.

His friends say he agreed to leave the embassy after US officials conveyed a message from the Chinese government that thugs armed with sticks were ready to attack his wife.

But the US State Department says at no time did anyone speak to Chen about physical or legal threats to his wife and children.

China has demanded an apology from the United States for its involvement in the Chen affair.

"The US method was interference in Chinese domestic affairs, and this is totally unacceptable to China," ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said in a statement carried by the Xinhua news agency.

"China demands that the United States apologise over this, thoroughly investigate this incident, punish those who are responsible, and give assurances that such incidents will not recur."

A US official said there would be no repeat of the incident, but declined to comment on the call for an apology.

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