Downplaying Human Rights

CAPITOL HILL (AP) _ Congressman Frank Wolf is expressing "dismay'' that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to give priority to "human rights and religious freedom'' on her recent trip to China. Instead, the Virginia Republican said, "she goes to Beijing with a tin cup almost begging for money.''

Before arriving in China last week, Clinton said issues such as religious persecution in China "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises.'' She attended a government church before leaving China, but Wolf says visiting a house church would have sent a stronger message to Chinese Christians and other persecuted religious minorities. Instead, Wolf says the Chinese may now conclude that the U.S. no longer cares about human rights.