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Sino-US Relations: Softly, Softly

Author: Jerome A. Cohen, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Asia Studies
February 19, 2009
South China Morning Post


As China's leaders await this weekend's visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, they must feel confident that human rights will not significantly burden an already full Sino-American agenda. To be sure, Obama administration rhetoric continues to recognise the importance of political and civil rights in American foreign policy, even with respect to China, a country that the US can ill afford to offend. Last week, a State Department spokesman declared: "With this president and this secretary, human rights is a very, very high priority" and promised that Mrs Clinton would address China's human rights record on her current Asian trip.

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