During the U.S.-China human rights dialogue, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor made a comparison between China’s human rights abuses and the draconian and controversial new law in Arizona which attempts to crack down on illegal immigration. Back home, Posner’s comments have generated a firestorm. AFP reports:
Republican Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain accused Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner of implying that the Arizona measure “is morally equivalent to China’s persistent pattern of abuse and repression of its people.”
The letter from McCain and Kyl, obtained by AFP, cited a media report that Posner had called Arizona’s controversial immigration measure part of “a troubling trend in our society” during recent US-China human rights talks.
“As assistant secretary of state in charge of the bureau of democracy and human rights, your remarks are particularly offensive. We demand you retract your statement and issue an apology,” the lawmakers wrote.
Kyl and McCain pointed to the US State Department’s annual human rights report, which sharply criticized what it described as China’s rampant rights abuses and warned Beijing’s record was worsening.
See also: “Arizona’s immigration law — and China’s human rights abuses” from the Washington Post blog.