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Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: China

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June 7, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Obama should discuss Kenneth Bae with China’s Xi Jinping

A South Korean man watches a television news program showing Korean American Kenneth Bae at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A South Korean man watches a television news program showing Korean American Kenneth Bae at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, May 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

President Barack Obama is meeting Friday and Saturday with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Cybersecurity and economics aside, the human rights issue should surely come up. The New York Times reports more than 30 organizations are urging Obama to call for the release of at least 16 political prisoners in China, including 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

Let’s not forget Kenneth Bae, the American tour operator from Lynnwood. He was living and working in China when he crossed the border into North Korea last November. Bae has languished within North Korea’s notorious prison system for seven months now. In May, he was reportedly transferred to a new site to begin a 15-year hard labor sentence for supposedly plotting to overthrow the government. On May 2, Amnesty International raised serious concerns about his lack of access to a lawyer.

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0 Comments | Topics: barack obama, China, Dennis Rodman

May 17, 2013 at 7:15 AM

As the ice melts, the Arctic Council is very cool

China, Japan, India, Italy, South Korea and Singapore hardly leap to mind when the Arctic is mentioned, but each country hotly pursued permanent observer status on the Arctic Council. The scramble to attach themselves to the council, where the senior leadership meets every two years, is an indication of the dramatic changes and perceived opportunities that…

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0 Comments | Topics: Arctic, Arctic Council, China

April 9, 2013 at 6:05 AM

China musters an opinion about North Korea

President Xi Jinping (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Tao)

President Xi Jinping (AP Photo/Xinhua, Li Tao)

However oblique the references, it was reassuring to have China’s President Xi Jinping complain about North Korea, his country’s goofy neighbor and longtime ally.

Reassuring might overstate the feeling, but if Kim Jong Un and his sycophantic entourage in Pyongyang is going to listen to any adult advice, the stern voice would have to come from China.

The Chinese president, who is new to the job, told an economic forum in southern China that, “No one should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gains.” His comments Sunday surely resonated in North Korea’s capital.

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0 Comments | Topics: China, north korea