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Bush presses China to allow free expression

Aug. 05, 2008, 10:37 p.m. (ET)

SEOUL, South Korea(AP) U.S. President George W. Bush says it is a mistake for China not to allow its people to freely express their opinions and worship as they choose.

Bush opened a three-country Asia trip Wednesday with meetings in Seoul, South Korea. He heads to China later in the week to attend the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Bush says he tells Chinese leaders every time he meets with them that they should allow more freedoms, that more religious people in their society would make it better, and that they should welcome free expression of all kinds of thought.

China has increased a crackdown on free expression in the lead-up to the games.

Bush also says North Korea has a lot to do regarding its nuclear program before the U.S. removes it from terror blacklist.