Bush: China Must End Detentions, Ensure Freedoms

BANGKOK, Thailand — President Bush is in Thailand, where he met with the prime minister moments after arriving from South Korea.

Thursday the president will give a speech ostensibly on the improved relations between the U.S. and Asia over his two terms in office. But a text released nearly 18 hours in advance reveals what could be considered a sharp rebuke of China’s stance on human rights and individual freedoms.

President Bush says he has “deep concerns” about the state of human rights in China, and urges Beijing to end detentions and guarantee freedom of press, assembly and worship for its citizens.

Bush is delivering the marquee speech of his three-nation Asia trip tomorrow morning in Bangkok.

With his trip ending later this week in Beijing for the Olympic Games, his pointed remarks on China stand out.

He says America “stands in firm opposition” to many of China’s human rights policies