Human Rights In China-Where Does Obama Stand?

Barack Obama confronts a situation in which his nation is economically damaged and militarily exhausted making him less able to take aggressive stands in support of human rights. Several leading human rights groups are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be firm in her meetings with Chinese officials about the situation of human rights in that nation. Human Rights told her fighting for human rights would send “a signal” to Beijing although it is doubtful if such comments would elicit anything other than anger and hostility. Years ago when she was a senator, Clinton spoke at conferences that it is the “duty of all governments to respect the fundamental human rights of women and men.” Those words were then, today, she is secretary of state of a nation that is experiencing economic collapse.

Hillary Clinton is now secretary of state and is not an individual senator who can freely speak her mind. The United States has limited leverage on the Chinese government and it is not likely she can do anything other than express some quiet pleasant words.

  • Susan Vogt

    In my opinion, it should be in the interests of the USA to urge China to observe human rights now, more than ever before, even if the leverage on the Chinese Government is limited. President Obama is in the unique position of being highly regarded throughout the world for his outstanding intellect and is highly respected otherwise, too. I am of the opinion, that Hillary Clinton’s duty as a senator should not contradict her duty as a secretary of state to speak out for human rights, even if the USA is experiencing an economic collapse. This signal is in my view, absolutely imperative. What impresses me so very much about President Obama is his wisdom, and courage to change the things that can be changed.