Clinton’s human rights remarks against diplomatic etiquette

Clinton’s human rights remarks against diplomatic etiquette interesting arti­cle where US Sec­re­tary Hillary Clin­ton has been accused of mak­ing remarks that are improper for a diplomat.

Ana­lysts on Thurs­day crit­i­cized US Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on human rights in China as “totally improper and impo­lite” for a diplomat.

“The com­ments made by Clin­ton go against “diplo­matic eti­quette,” Zhang Shengjun, a pro­fes­sor of inter­na­tional pol­i­tics at Bei­jing Nor­mal Uni­ver­sity told the Global Times.

Clin­ton claimed in an inter­view with the Atlantic Monthly pub­lished Tues­day, the sec­ond day of the third round of China-US Strate­gic and Eco­nomic Dia­logue (S&ED), that China had “a deplorable human rights record” and feared the polit­i­cal upheaval in the Mid­dle East and North Africa might spread.

“They’re wor­ried, and they are try­ing to stop his­tory, which is a fool’s errand,” she told the magazine.

James Palmer, a British his­tory scholar liv­ing in Bei­jing, told the Global Times that “Fool’s errand” are harsh words, which are very unusual for diplo­mats to use.

“It’s wrong for Clin­ton to com­pare the sit­u­a­tion in the Mid­dle East to that of China because the issues China is faced with are totally dif­fer­ent than those in other regions,” Ni Feng, direc­tor of the Insti­tute of Amer­i­can Stud­ies at the Chi­nese Acad­emy of Social Sci­ences, told the Global Times yesterday.

Wash­ing­ton has recently stepped up its rhetoric on China’s human rights, as Chi­nese ana­lysts say the Obama admin­is­tra­tion is cater­ing to pub­lic pres­sure within the US by using the issue to press China dur­ing the S&ED.

“The US has no eco­nomic and strate­gic choices to press China so human rights is nat­u­rally the only thing it could use at the moment,” Yuan Peng, direc­tor of the Insti­tute for Amer­i­can Stud­ies at the China Insti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Inter­na­tional Rela­tions, told the Global Times.

China Tues­day dis­missed the accu­sa­tions by the US, stat­ing that no coun­try is per­fect on human rights and China is ready to con­tinue to engage in dia­logue, enhance under­stand­ing, reduce dif­fer­ences and expand com­mon ground on the basis of equal­ity and mutual respect.

China said on Thurs­day that tol­er­ance and com­mu­ni­ca­tion are vital for a har­mo­nious Sino-US rela­tion­ship that not only serves the fun­da­men­tal inter­ests of both sides, but is also con­ducive to the peace and sta­bil­ity of the Asia-Pacific region.

“The Asia-Pacific is one region where the two coun­tries’ inter­ests are most inter­laced. As coun­tries with a major influ­ence in the area, their har­mo­nious co-existence and favor­able inter­ac­tions will be con­ducive to regional peace, devel­op­ment and pros­per­ity,” Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Jiang Yu said at a reg­u­lar press brief­ing in Beijing.

The two coun­tries share more com­mon inter­ests and respon­si­bil­i­ties than dis­putes and con­flicts within the Asia-Pacific region, and the mutu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co-existence of China and the US depends on con­fi­dence and trust, she added.

The state­ments came a day after the end of the S&ED, dur­ing which the two sides have agreed to estab­lish a mech­a­nism of con­sul­ta­tions on Asia-Pacific affairs.

By Wang Zhaokun
Global Times

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