Guest / Limited Access /

A few weeks ago while visiting China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on one of her first overseas trips as President Obama's foreign policy spokesperson, said the United States will continue to press China's rulers on Tibet, Taiwan, and human rights. So why are evangelicals and other human rights activists feeling a distinct chill?

Perhaps it's because of this statement from Clinton to reporters: "Successive administrations and Chinese governments have been poised back and forth on these issues, and we have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis." She later added, "It is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship."

Clinton's timing could not have been more impeccably embarrassing for the Obama administration — or more discomfiting for house-church Christians and human rights activists inside China. That same week, Clinton's State Department issued its 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, in which it lambasted — who else? — China, for deteriorating human rights.

"The government's human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas," the report said. "During the year the government increased its severe cultural and religious repression of ethnic minorities in Tibetan areas — Other serious human rights abuses included extrajudicial killings, torture and coerced confessions of prisoners, and the use of forced labor, including prison labor." The China report goes on like this for 40 pages.

Noting that the persecution of house-church Christians has also worsened, advocacy group China Aid called Clinton's remarks "a ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Recommended5 Guidelines for Living in a Pluralist Society
5 Guidelines for Living in a Pluralist Society
Protestant Christianity is losing the mainstream status it once enjoyed. How to model a winsome faith anyway.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickThe Softer Face of Calvinism
The Softer Face of Calvinism
Reformed theology is more irenic and diverse than you think, says theologian Oliver Crisp.
Comments
Christianity Today
China's Human Rights, In the Red
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.