Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, issued the following statement today after President Obama’s remarks in Shanghai, China.
“I applaud President Obama for making clear to his audience in Shanghai that the United States will always speak out for the global values of human rights. Regardless of the political system that a nation chooses, its citizens retain fundamental freedoms and the government retains inescapable obligations to uphold those freedoms. No leader should ever hesitate to make our principles clear.
“President Obama’s statement of support for open, free and uncensored access to the Internet is a critically important message in a time when human rights violations in China have gone increasingly high-tech. I further urge President Obama to take advantage of his time in Beijing to deliver directly to China’s government leaders a strong message in support of universal human rights and drawing attention to China’s record that ranges from imprisoning dissidents, harassing democratic activists, restricting religious freedom, and giving direct and indirect support to some of the most repressive regimes in the world, including Sudan, Burma, and North Korea.”