U.S. President George Bush met Sunday with Chinese President Hu Jintao on
the sidelines of the Beijing Olympic games. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports the
session took place a few hours after Mr. Bush attended church services in
President Bush said prior to his arrival in China
that he planned to take up human rights and other sensitive issues in private
with Hu Jintao.
But his public comments to reporters at the start of the
meeting focused largely on another topic - the deadly knife attack Saturday on
an American couple and their Chinese tour guide.
When President Hu
offered his condolences, Mr. Bush responded with words of thanks.
thank you for your expressions of sympathy and the ambassador informs me that
your government has been very attentive and very sympathetic and I appreciate
that a lot," he said.
The incident occurred at the Drum Tower, a popular
tourist spot in Beijing. A lone assailant stabbed the parents of a former
Olympic women's volleyball star, who is also the wife of the current US men's
volleyball coach. Her father died and her mother remains in grave
The Chinese man who attacked the couple and their guide
committed suicide, and the motive for the incident is not known. President Hu
promised a full investigation.
The Chinese leader said his government
takes the matter very seriously. He told President Bush law enforcement
authorities are pursuing the case in accordance with Chinese law.
met just a few hours after President Bush attended Sunday morning services at a
government-approved church in Beijing
As he emerged from the church with
members of his family, he made clear he believes faith has a place in
"You know, it just goes to show that God is universal, and God is
love, and no state, man or woman should fear the influence of loving religion,"
said Mr. Bush.
The president has also made clear he has been having a
grand time at the Olympics - cheering on Team USA at events ranging from beach
volleyball to basketball.
He was at the swimming venue Sunday when
American swimmer Michael Phelps won his first gold medal of the games with a
victory in the 400 meter individual medley.
Mr. Bush returns to
Washington on Monday.