EXCERPTS FROM:  http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jTCaQ-QMoHDqK5mk7ao7ryoZGzMw

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President George W. Bush plans to attend church while in China for the opening of the Olympic Games next month, and will speak about freedom of religion, a top aide said Wednesday.

"When he goes to church on Sunday (August 10) he will make a statement afterwards in which he discusses his view on religious freedom in China," said national security council director of Asian Affairs Dennis Wilder.

Bush, a devout Christian, has walked a diplomatic tightrope over the Olympics, repeatedly insisting the games are not a political venue while recently stepping up his public criticism of Beijing's rights record.

"What we are looking for in China is not gestures, we are looking for structural change, we are looking for long term change," Wilder said.

"We are looking for the Chinese at these games to show that they are making progress, to demonstrate to the world, the spotlight is on Beijing, this is an opportunity for Beijing to show that it is widening … freedom of press, freedom of expression," he said.

Asked about China's failure to release political prisoners as a goodwill gesture ahead of the Games, Wilder said: "Obviously I would like to see all these political prisoners that we have on our lists released.

"We have handed the Chinese lists of people that we think are unfairly in prison."

 
 

8 Comments

  1. Emily says:

    Why does the Olympics have to be a time for people to criticize China? They are not going to make changes right now when they are focused on the games, and allowing the games to take place there is sending mixed messages if you are trying to show disapproval of their actions. The Olympics have nothing to do with religion; they are a time of unity. Why do we have to bring up the topic?

  2. Emily says:

    Why does the Olympics have to be a time for people to criticize China? They are not going to make changes right now when they are focused on the games, and allowing the games to take place there is sending mixed messages if you are trying to show disapproval of their actions. The Olympics have nothing to do with religion; they are a time of unity. Why do we have to bring up the topic?

  3. scott says:

    i served in the US Army for 15 years and have been to 53 differnt countrys around the world and you know the one thing i have learned? the american people are way too free. we complain about everything, one thing that i like to tell people who try to judge me is that they should clean up their own affairs before the tell me that mine are messed up. america has so many issues it is not funny, we need to look inward first.

    there are so many people in china that i would think that if the goverment over there didnt have a strong hand it would be much worse then it is, we need a stronger hand in the US.

  4. scott says:

    i served in the US Army for 15 years and have been to 53 differnt countrys around the world and you know the one thing i have learned? the american people are way too free. we complain about everything, one thing that i like to tell people who try to judge me is that they should clean up their own affairs before the tell me that mine are messed up. america has so many issues it is not funny, we need to look inward first.

    there are so many people in china that i would think that if the goverment over there didnt have a strong hand it would be much worse then it is, we need a stronger hand in the US.

  5. Joe says:

    It is obvious that if Bush is attending church in China, then it is already established; therefore, the people already have the freedom to attend that church. It is my opinion that Bush just wants his Christian Fundamentalist religion to take over in China as it has in the U.S. Wouldn't it just be dandy to have this "extremist group" as a major political influence in China and everywhere else as it is in the U.S.

  6. Joe says:

    It is obvious that if Bush is attending church in China, then it is already established; therefore, the people already have the freedom to attend that church. It is my opinion that Bush just wants his Christian Fundamentalist religion to take over in China as it has in the U.S. Wouldn't it just be dandy to have this "extremist group" as a major political influence in China and everywhere else as it is in the U.S.

  7. Rusty Freedom says:

    In China, Bush stated from the church steps…

    "No state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion."

    My answer to this is..

    Taipeng Rebellion
    Jim Jones
    David Koresh
    the Inquisition
    Criminal Televangelists
    Children denied medical treatment
    Abortion clinic bombings
    Polygamious Groups
    etc. etc. etc.

  8. Rusty Freedom says:

    In China, Bush stated from the church steps…

    "No state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion."

    My answer to this is..

    Taipeng Rebellion
    Jim Jones
    David Koresh
    the Inquisition
    Criminal Televangelists
    Children denied medical treatment
    Abortion clinic bombings
    Polygamious Groups
    etc. etc. etc.

 
 
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