President George W. Bush said Thursday that he will raise worries about human rights abuse in China with President Hu Jintao when he attends the Beijing Olympics in August.
Bush told reporters that he is looking forward to watching the athletics at the Olympics. But that will not stop him from pushing China to grant greater freedoms to its citizens, he said.
Bush was asked about reports that a laid-off Chinese factory worker faces subversion charges for saying human rights are more important than the Olympics.
"I am not the least bit shy of bringing up the concerns expressed by this factory worker, and I believe that I'll have an opportunity to do so with the president and, at the same time, enjoy a great sporting event," Bush said.
He added that "a whole society, a healthy society, a confident society is one that recognizes the value of religious freedom."
China hopes a successful Olympics will signal its emergence as a world power. But the games' approach has focused intense international and U.S. congressional attention on what rights groups say is Beijing's oppression of religious freedom, minorities, the media and those who criticize the government.
On Wednesday, Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers said China should be held accountable for promises to protect rights that were made when China was awarded the Olympics.
Beijing said that its citizens' human rights are protected under the Chinese constitution.