BEIJING — President Bush is stepping up his public criticism of China's human rights practices. During his weekly radio address Saturday, Bush said he is using his time in Beijing to express "American's deep concerns" about freedom and human rights in China.
"This trip has reaffirmed my belief that men and women who aspire to speak their conscience and worship their God are no threat to the future of China," Bush said, adding that the United States had "made it clear that trusting their people with greater freedom is necessary for China to reach its full potential."
Today, Bush plans to attend a service at a government-sanctioned Protestant church, and aides said they expect he will make another plea for religious freedom while he is in China. Bush also plans to meet later today with President Hu Jintao and other senior Chinese leaders.
Scalpers find a way: Security volunteers and police officers are posted every 100 feet along Beijing's main roads, but scalpers are still finding unguarded pieces of sidewalk to tout the hottest tickets in town. "Oh-limp-ick-uh tickets!" says a man in broken English, leaning by a tree. "Boxing," the man said in Chinese, raising his fists to highlight the sport. "Track and field," he offered, declining to give his name. The police have told Chinese media that ticket scalpers can be detained for 10 to 15 days, but also raised the threat of re-education camps, where Chinese can be sentenced to manual labor without trial.
Pro-Tibet protests: Activists continued demonstrations on Saturday, with the boldest protest coming when they breached heavy security in Tiananmen Square and urged Tibetan freedom before being confronted by angry Chinese onlookers. The activists clasped each others' hands and walked around the square, chanting "Freedom for Tibet," and "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet" — a play off a Beijing Olympics motto — before they were taken away by security agents, according to Canadian Broadcasting Corp. video footage.