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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Did the U.S. Have A Deal With The Chinese Over Human Rights?

Yahoo!:

U.N. Human Rights Commisssion"Shen said Washington went back on its word to 'suddenly' announce the resolution amid consultations between the two. "

So has been quoted Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang on the decision by the U.S. to introduce a resolution condemning China's Human Rights record at this years U.N. Human Rights Commission sessions in Geneva.

I have said in several posts leading up to the Geneva Conference that the vibes I was getting was that the U.S. would not seek such a resolution this year as it had not done last year.

So confident was I that I laid a bet here at this blog that it would not happen. My feelings were based on several things. Firstly the release of some high profile political prisoners, some very open "Mea Culpa" statements coming out of Beijing, the amendment to the constitution and several other events. Secondly, the failure of the U.S State Department to categorically say in the lead up to Geneva that a Resolution would be introduced. It was statements such as "almost certain" when pressed for what their direction will be that said to me some behind the scenes negotiations were happening. Then we had the phone conversations between U.S.Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing in the lead up to Geneva.

My confidence swayed slightly when the U.S. House of Representatives voted almost unanimously to call upon the President to table such a resolution.

Now we have Assistant Foreign Minister Chen saying that the U.S. "went back on it's word to suddenly.." Introduce the resolution much as if some deal had been brokered that the U.S. suddenly reneged upon.


The State Department's Noon Briefing the day before last had the Spokesperson wiggling uncomfortably when pressed as to why the Commission was under way one week before State announced it's intentions. He also was a little uncomfortable when asked as to what support the U.S. expected for it's resolution.

Did the President and the State Department broker some deal? Did the House of Reps motion throw a"spanner in the works"? And now are The Chinese, perhaps justifiably, a bit peeved off?

Whilst I have now sworn off making bets in public............ does anyone want to frame a market on this one....?

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