Clinton urges China to protect human rights

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BEIJING (AP) -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has called on China to protect human rights amid a dispute over the status of a blind dissident who has appealed to Washington for help.

Clinton told the opening of annual talks with China on foreign policy and economic issues that the U.S. believes "all governments have to answer our citizens' aspirations for dignity and the rule of law and that no nation can or should deny those rights."

Clinton's comments Thursday came after a blind Chinese dissident who took refuge in the U.S. Embassy appealed to Washington for more help. He said later from his hospital room in Beijing that he fears for his family's safety unless they are all spirited abroad.

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