Call to engage China

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 October, 2007, 12:00am

The United States should continue to engage China on improving its human rights record rather than boycotting the Beijing Olympics next year, Democratic Party lawmakers said during a trip to Washington.

Former Democratic Party leader Martin Lee Chu-ming was accompanied on a three-day visit to the US capital by party vice-chairman Sin Chung-kai.

Mr Sin said some US rights groups had called for a boycott of next year's Beijing Olympics.

'But we have urged people to adopt a more positive attitude. Countries that have held Olympic Games usually have better human rights records after the event. That's why we urge them to engage China and continue to monitor.'

Their schedule includes talks with Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky and deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Glyn Davies.

Mr Sin said US political circles still supported the early introduction of universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

The lawmakers earlier met Stephen Hadley, assistant to the president on national security affairs; John Negroponte, deputy secretary of state; and Congressional Human Rights Caucus members.