China was criticized for its attitude towards democracy by US President George W. Bush Tuesday, Reuters reported. Bush, who also targeted Russia in his remarks, said that the US would continue to build relationships with these countries but without abandoning its values. "China's leaders believe they can continue to open the nation's economy without also opening its political system," the president told democracy and human rights activists in Prague. With tensions mounting between the US and Russia over missile defense, Bush stressed that the ability to talk openly about disagreements is a key element to building strong diplomatic relationships. Beijing came under further US pressure on the trade front as US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that China must push ahead with reforms if it is to avoid protectionist legislation from Congress. He pinpointed currency appreciation and a crackdown on piracy as two areas where particular progress could be made.