By Chua Chin Hon, US Bureau Chief
WASHINGTON: Days after its new boss Hillary Clinton made a feel-good trip to Beijing, the US State Department released a scathing report claiming China's human rights record had 'worsened' last year despite hosting the Olympics.
Preparations for the annual report began well before Mrs Clinton's confirmation last month as the new top United States diplomat. But the timing of its release yesterday could not be more awkward and reflected the tricky balancing act that she would have to perform when courting Beijing.
On her recent trip to Asia, she raised eyebrows by publicly stating that human rights issues should not interfere with US-China cooperation on global issues. While she framed her candid views in the context of diplomatic pragmatism, critics said her remarks would hurt and demoralise the human rights movement in China.
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