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U.S. To Accuse China on Rights

March 26, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States will formally accuse China of wholesale violations of the human rights of its people.

The decision was announced today by the State Department spokesman, James P. Rubin, who assured Beijing at the same time that the Clinton administration would maintain its policy of ``engagement″ with China.

The U.N. Human Rights Commission opened its annual session this week in Geneva, Switzerland, with a plea for more efforts to prevent abuses and to punish the guilty.

During the six-week commission meeting, allegations of violations in countries including Iraq, Sudan and Myanmar as well as the Yugoslav province of Kosovo also are likely to be examined.

The U.S. decision reflects findings in a report to Congress by the State Department that China last year went into reverse on human rights after some past signs of progress.

The announcement coincided with one from the Chinese government that Premier Zhu Rongi would visit Washington early next month.

U.S. relations with China already are in a downspin over suspicions that China pilfered information on miniaturizing nuclear warheads from a U.S. laboratory.

Rubin said a resolution the U.S. delegation planned to introduce in late April at the commission meeting in Geneva would reflect the ``sense of deep concern″ within the administration with China’s human rights abuses.

``China’s human rights record has deteriorated sharply,″ the spokesman said.

Albright notified Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan about the U.S. move in Geneva, Rubin said.

Update hourly