Madam Secretary

Hailing Liu Xiaobo, Clinton calls on China to respect human rights

Applauding the selection of Liu Xiaobo as the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Secretary Clinton urged China "to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens." She also demanded "Liu Xiaobo’s immediate release from prison." Clinton’s statement today is refreshing after remarks ...

MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images
MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images

Applauding the selection of Liu Xiaobo as the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Secretary Clinton urged China "to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens." She also demanded "Liu Xiaobo’s immediate release from prison."

Clinton’s statement today is refreshing after remarks she made in February 2009 that  seemed to place human rights in China as a back-burner priority. At the time she said, "[O]ur pressing on those [human rights] issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis."

Below is Clinton’s complete statement, issued today:

I applaud the Nobel Committee’s decision to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Throughout its history, the Peace Prize has often been used to recognize the heroism of those who have, through persistent and peaceful efforts, sought to build a world that is more fair and free.

Mr. Liu has been a consistent advocate for fundamental freedoms and human rights for his fellow citizens and for peaceful political reform. Mr. Liu’s work, including his role in the drafting of Charter ’08, and his receipt of this honor highlight the fact that while China has made tremendous economic progress in the last three decades, political reform has lagged behind. As I said in Krakow this summer, governments should recognize the constructive role that citizens such as Liu Xiaobo play. We urge China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens. We reiterate our call for Liu Xiaobo’s immediate release from prison.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. @pjaroonFP

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