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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                     April 15, 1997


United Nations Human Rights Commission Vote on China

The United States deeply regrets that today in Geneva, the United Nations Human Rights Commission approved a motion by China that prevented a resolution on that nation's human rights record from coming to a vote. This action is inconsistent with the fundamental principle the Commission is charged to defend: that how a nation treats its citizens is the legitimate concern of all mankind.

The United States has chosen to engage China across a broad range of issues because it is in our national interest to develop a positive and constructive relationship with a country that is home to a fifth of the world's population and is playing an increasingly important role in world affairs. At the same time, it should be clearly understood that we will continue to speak out on important issues where we disagree, and one of the most important of these issues is human rights.

By taking a stand against human rights abuses in China and around the world, we keep faith with those who champion these principles. We also maintain our leadership on human rights issues and express the deepest values of the American people.

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