World : Bush ‘Disrespectful’ in Inviting Dissident to Dinner, China Says

From Times Wire Services

China, in a sharp new rebuke to President Bush, said today that the President was disrespectful in inviting a leading dissident to a weekend dinner and it dismissed U.S criticism as “irresponsible remarks.”

It was the second time in three days China criticized the United States for the incident last Sunday when police blocked Fang Lizhi, China’s leading dissident, from attending the farewell dinner given by Bush after his first trip as President to Beijing.

“Before the banquet, without consulting the Chinese side, the U.S. side sent an invitation, bypassing the normal channel, to a certain individual unacceptable to the Chinese side,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement to reporters. “This act of imposing one’s own will on others can only be interpreted as support for this kind of people and disrespect for the host country,” the statement said.