US envoy Gary Locke stresses human rights in China in his farewell speech
BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's future development will hinge on a neutral judiciary and freedom of speech, US Ambassador Gary Locke said on Wednesday in his final speech as envoy to Beijing, focusing heavily on human rights.
Mr Locke, the first Chinese-American to head the embassy in Beijing, leaves the Chinese capital on Saturday and will be replaced by Senator Max Baucus.
China's leaders should not sacrifice "the long-term rewards of citizen engagement for a short term definition of social stability," he said.
Speaking to Chinese students at a US cultural centre, Mr Locke said, "China has a great future ahead of it. But reaching its full potential will depend on a neutral and respected judiciary, an active set of dedicated lawyers, wise leadership, but most of all, reverence toward the rule of law."