Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bush to Attend Church in China, Urge Religious Freedom

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."You can deliver the message of freedom without politicizing the events of the game," Wilder said."The president will have diplomatic meetings with the Chinese leadership that are separate from the games. And in those meetings with the Chinese leaders he will of course bring up these issues."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.Bush will attend the August 8 opening ceremonies of the games, having rejected human rights activists' appeals for him to boycott the gala in protest of China's overall rights record, including a crackdown in Tibet in March.Wilder said the United States was "disappointed that they have cracked down on the Internet," and expressed hope that protests planned around the event would be open to non-Chinese."The Chinese have announced that there will be protesters. We very much hope that those protest areas will be open not only to Chinese citizens but to foreigners," Wilder said."We hope that the rules for operating within those protesters' areas are opening up, that those who want to protest can. We hope that these protest areas are truly like those areas that have been allowed at other Olympics."That is yet to be demonstrated, I think, that the Chinese are truly moving in that direction."On the whole, the United States looked to Beijing to use the attention of the Olympics to show progress in granting various rights, such as free speech and free press, Wilder said."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."The ultimate goal here is to get the Chinese government to see that it is in their interest to free up their society."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."
PS:Lets pray for Hu Jintao,that the Lord will soften his heart and that the outcome will be the expected by the church,for God's glory!!!!!!!!
As in the days of Noah....

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