As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained that the Obama administration is taking an approach of “principled pragmatism” in dealing with human rights issues in China and elsewhere, the Chinese government has rejected calls from the EU and the U.S. for the release of Liu Xiaobo. Watch Clinton’s remarks, via CNN:
And from Reuters:
The European Union urged China on Monday to release [Liu Xiaobo] unconditionally, while the United States pressed Beijing to respect the rights of all Chinese citizens who peacefully express their desire for “internationally recognized freedoms.
But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said such calls amounted to interfering in the country’s judiciary.
“These accusations are unacceptable. China is a country of rule of law. The fundamental rights of Chinese citizens are guaranteed by the law,” she told a regular news conference.
“I want to stress that Chinese judicial bodies handle cases independently. Outsiders have no right to interfere. We oppose any external forces using this case to meddle in China’s internal affairs or judicial sovereignty.”
Jiang’s comments underscored that her government is unlikely to heed international pressure growing Liu, who could face trial as soon as next week. Chinese courts come under Communist Party control and rarely reject prosecution accusations, especially in politically sensitive cases.