China Says It Will Resume Human Rights Talks With U.S.

The New York Times is reporting that, four years after suspending talks with the United States about human rights abuses, China has signaled that it is once again ready to resume its human rights dialogue with the State Dept.

“We are ready to resume the human rights dialogue,” the Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, said at a news conference with Ms. Rice in Beijing, Reuters reported. “We are willing to have exchanges and interactions with the U.S. and other countries on human rights on a basis of mutual respect, equality and noninterference in each others’ internal affairs.”

Why the change of heart?

The overriding reason seems to be the consequences of the world’s spotlight as it focuses on the Olympic Games.

More than anything, the Chinese leadership is clearly concerned that the Spielberg drama could be just the beginning.

“The Olympics, which is a great gathering for the Chinese and the people of the world, shouldn’t be politicized or subject to boycott for political reasons,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao, told a separate news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. “That’s against the general will of the people of the world.”

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