From the Associated Press --

BEIJING - President Bush has issued strong words to China's ruling government, demanding that striptease send-offs at funerals be protected.

"This is about freedom. And freedom isn't free. Sometimes it requires a dollar bill lovingly tucked into a g-string or similar undergarment. Sometimes it requires a $100 bottle of champagne. Sometimes it requires a small loan from your friends," said President Bush.

Chinese police have been arresting strippers for "obscene performances" at funerals in Donghai County, Jiangsu province, Xinhua news agency said. Striptease is a common practice at funerals in Donghai's rural areas to allure viewers," it said. "Local villagers believe that the more people who attend the funeral, the more the dead person is honored."

"More than plain old freedom, this is about the religious freedom for these poor, godless bastards. And heterosexual religious freedom, I might add. Bush has always been an important part of Jesus's plan -- whether it be virgin bush, burning bush, or me, President Bush."

At a time when China is seeking to normalize relations with the United States, President Bush's statements were seen as a potential harbringer of invasion.

"He said what?" asked China's leading government official for the province.

"If we turn away from this, China and other terrorist organizations like it have already won," concluded President Bush.

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