U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the debate with China over human rights should not get in the way of progress in other areas.
Speaking with reporters Friday before arriving in Beijing, Clinton said the two countries should not let their differences get in the way of engagement on climate change, the global financial crisis and security threats.Human rights groups were quick to respond to her remarks.
Amnesty International said it was disappointed that Clinton would not make human rights a priority in her diplomatic engagement with China. The group said the United States is one of the few countries that can meaningfully stand up to China on human rights issues.
Human Rights Watch called Clinton's remarks a strategic mistake, adding that it seemed like Clinton expects no meeting of the minds on human rights issues. Clinton said she would not shy away from such questions, but added that U.S. officials more or less know what China is going to say.