BEIJING, Sept. 5— Speaking more forcefully on human rights than any American dignitary has on Chinese soil, Hillary Rodham Clinton catalogued a devastating litany of abuse that has afflicted women around the world today and criticized China for seeking to limit free and open discussion of women’s issues here.

“It is time for us to say here in Beijing, and the world to hear, that it is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights,” Mrs. Clinton told the Fourth World Conference on Women assembled here.

“It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls,” Mrs. Clinton said, or “when women and girls are sold into slavery or prostitution for human greed.


Mrs. Clinton’s gravity and directness seemed to please both Democratic and Republican members of the United States delegation here, and thus the speech may trump the political disputes that have plagued both Mrs. Clinton’s decision to travel here and the Administration’s approach to China.


Continuing with references to domestic violence, genital mutilation, coercive abortions and sterilizations, Mrs. Clinton told the delegates from more than 180 countries, “If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”


In the section of her speech aimed most directly at China, Mrs. Clinton seemed to betray frustration over China’s intolerance for dissenting views.