Winding up his visit to the United States, Friday, Chinese leader Hu Jintao said that China will not follow the western model for human rights and political freedom, after meeting U.S. president George W. Bush at the White House on Thursday.
Hu spoke at Yale University – Bush’s alma mater – telling faculty and students that differences between China and the United States would be overcome through further cooperation and mutual desire for peace.
The Chinese president answered a few questions given in advance. When asked would the nation experience unrest given its current restriction on political expression, Hu said that though China was committed to bringing democracy, it had not interests in using other countries’ policies.
"On one hand, we are ready and willing to draw on the useful experience of foreign countries into political involvement," he said.
"On the other hand, we will not simply copy the political models of other countries."
A CNN reporter was reportedly thrown out after asking the Chinese president if he saw protestors gathered outside. A Yale spokesperson later said that the man was escorted out because he had been invited to "cover and event, not hold a press conference," as quoted by the Associate Press (AP).
Outside, hundreds of demonstrators were kept several blocks away. Some pro-democracy supporters held signs saying "Warmly Welcome Chairman Hu Jintao to the United States" and "Bring China-U.S. relations closer."
Yale University has had relations with China stemming back to the 19th century, being the first U.S. school to graduate a Chinese student in 1854. In 2004, a ceremony to honor the first Chinese graduate, Yung Wing, was held at the New Haven, Conn. campus – to which a statue was donated by the Yung’s home city of Zhuhai.
The school now has 26 extension sites in China, and has more than 80 academic collaborations with local educational institutions.
On Thursday, Hu met with President Bush at the White House, in the U.S. capitol of Washington D.C.
The two leaders expressed interests in international issues surrounding Iran, North Korea and Sudan.
When a reporter at the White House press conference asked about the pace of democratic reform in China, Hu strongly responded that China has always been interested in democracy, and that "if there is no democracy, there will be no modernization."
Monday, four rights and church institutions – including Texas-based China Aid Association (CAA), Institute of Religion and Public Policy, Jubilee Campaign, USA and Midland Ministerial Alliance – released a 2005 report on torture and abuse again independent Chinese House church members and leaders. 19 testimonies from victims in fiver provinces were also included in the report.
Throughout his discussion with Hu, President Bush raised little question on China’s poor human rights record. Nonetheless, Bush promised to continue discussion with China on the importance of respecting human rights.