When Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton touches down in Beijing this week she will face an authoritarian Chinese government wringing their hands over a remarkably brazen online petition for human rights and an end to autocratic rule that is circulating among its citizens.
This petition, Charter 08, is not what China’s rulers expect to talk about with Secretary Clinton on her first trip abroad for the new Obama administration. She should insist that they do.
The reason: Charter 08 is the longest sustained human rights campaign in China since the Tiananmen Square massacre 20 years ago this June and continues to spread throughout China despite the government’s best attempts.
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