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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

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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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