At a Wednesday briefing on this week’s two-day U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue in Washington, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner noted a number of cases raised during the talks, including Xinjiang and Tibet, and individuals including Liu Xiaobo, Gao Zhisheng, Ni Yulan and Chen Guangcheng’s nephew Chen Kegui. Human rights organisations have criticised the annual talks as a diplomatic smoke screen obscuring a lack of real progress. From Rebecca Berg at The New York Times:
Mr. Posner was reporting on the latest session of an annual human rights dialogue with China, which took place this week in Washington and included representatives from American and Chinese government agencies. During the meetings, he said, the State Department addressed China’s abuses of free expression on the Internet and in public, its persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, and its inhumane labor practices, among other human rights issues. For their part, Chinese officials raised concerns about the United States’ record on human rights, particularly in areas of discrimination and prison conditions.
“The point that we made, which I feel very confident and proud to make, is that we have human rights issues in the United States, but we also have a very strong system to respond to them,” Mr. Posner said, citing access to legal representation for all citizens, a free press and a “robust” culture of political engagement.
[…] Critics say that merely raising concerns with the Chinese government, as the United States does in this dialogue each year, is an exercise in diplomatic futility. The State Department insists that the discussions are one facet of a larger strategy.
Posner attempted to address this criticism during questions after the briefing:
QUESTION: […] I’m just wondering if you could tell us, from your perspective, what this dialogue has accomplished in concrete terms. I mean,...
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