State Dept. drops China from rights violators' list

Johnny Li, an official with Open Doors International, says although there is still persecution against Christians in China, the country is slowly improving when it comes to human-rights violations.

The U.S. State Department recently removed China from its list of the world's worst human-rights violators. No reason was given for the removal, although the State Department said last year that China's overall human-rights record remained poor.

China, however, remains high on the Open Doors World Watch List 2008 of countries where Christians suffer the greatest persecution. Last year, large numbers of foreign Christians -- living in China as missionaries -- were kicked out of the country, which ranks #10 on the list.

Johnny Li, a minister-at-large with Open Doors International, says the communist government is trying to come to grips with an ever-increasing Christian population. He also points to some evidence that China's government is more lenient with Christians, as China increases its business and economic base.

Open Doors, Li contends, continues to speak for the voiceless and persecuted people in China. On the other hand, he wants to encourage China while also showing them areas that still need improvement.

Li notes that China "still has a lot of room to improve, but [Christians] need to give them some encouragement as well. The church in America, for decades, has prayed for China and I believe the Lord has answered and honored those prayers. As a result, China [has] reformed. China [has] opened up."

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China still represses the Tibetans, many of the migrant wokers who are building the Olympic stadium, children in child labor, lawyers and activists that speak out or try and represent people, and many of it's ethnically diverse population.


"The State Department did not wipe China's slate clean, saying in the
report that "China's overall human rights record remains poor." But
instead of placing it among the world's worst offenders, it shifted
China's listing to: "authoritarian countries that are undergoing
economic reform [and] have experienced rapid social change but have not
undertaken democratic political reform and continue to deny their
citizens basic human rights and fundamental freedoms."

Asked at a press conference Tuesday to explain
why China was no longer on the list of worst offenders, Jonathan
Farrar, acting assistant secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human
Rights, and Labor, skirted the question. But he noted that the report
does list China's record as "poor," adding that the listing of China as
"authoritarian" is "a completely accurate assessment."


Yea, but where would Wal-mark get all that cheap crap to sell us without China. Besides, we are borrowing money from them to bail out our banking system and pay for the war in Iraq; we don't want them to call in their marker and cripple our economy.

We're pretty much China's bitch - Thank you Bush; thank you Republicans.

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