Obama sympathizes with a Communist regime’s human rights record, why am I not surprised? Must be the forced abortions.

(CNS News)– President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that there has been “evolution” in human rights in China over the last three decades, even though that country does not allow for freedom of the press or freedom of religion, continues to imprison political dissidents (notably Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo) and is run by the Communist Party.

“And I want to suggest that there has been an evolution in China over the last 30 years since the first normalization of relations between the United States and China,” Obama said. “And my expectation is that 30 years from now we will have seen further evolution and further change.”

During a joint White House news conference with Obama and Chinese President President Hu Jintao, a reporter asked Obama, “Can you explain to the American people how the United States can be so allied with a country that is known for treating its people so poorly, for using censorship and force to repress its people? Do you have any confidence that as a result of this visit that will change?”

Obama said he and the Chinese president had discussed human rights at length.

“China has a different political system than we do,” Obama said. “China is at a different stage of development than we are. We come from very different cultures with very different histories. But, as I’ve said before and I repeated to President Hu, we have some core views as Americans about the universality of certain rights–freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly–that we think are very important and that transcend cultures.”

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