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China Brushes Off Bush's Remarks On Freedoms

Li Zhaoxing (file photo) (epa) 16 November 2005 -- Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing today brushed off comments by U.S. President George W. Bush urging Beijing to grant more freedoms to its citizens.

Li was speaking in response to questions about comments Bush made in Japan earlier today in which he praised Taiwan as "free and democratic and prosperous" and suggested Beijing should follow the self-ruled island's example.

Li told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of Pacific Rim economies that China shouldn't pay attention to "those people who talk about this or that, trying to shake our conviction, especially when it comes to our love of the motherland."

Li made his comments as he headed into a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the sidelines of the Pacific Rim forum.