The United States has often been reactive to Chinese initiatives overseas as they affect human rights, responding to pressure from advocacy groups on Darfur or Myanmar, for example. As China expands its reach around the world, more and more U.S. embassies are finding themselves dealing with the implications of that expansion. American officials need to know how to respond in ways that maximize a positive influence on human rights.
Developing greater in-house expertise that regularly monitors developments bearing on human rights will allow for a more proactive approach, including addressing issues privately with the Chinese before they become hot-button public disputes.
Consequently, we recommend that officials be designated in key U.S. embassies in Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia to handle this important task and, as appropriate, to brief other U.S. officials on China’s human rights record at home and abroad as it relates to U.S. foreign policy.
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