US slams Beijing over “deteriorating” human rights conditions in China

Global Post: US officials have slammed China’s human rights record, criticizing Beijing for continuing to quash dissent.

 

“The overall situation of human rights in China continues to deteriorate,” Agence France-Presse quoted Michael Posner, assistant secretary of state for human rights, as saying.

Posner, speaking after two days of talks between Chinese and Obama administration officials in Washington, praised the effects of China’s rapid growth as having lifted “hundreds of millions… out of poverty.”

But he also stressed “that political reforms in China have not kept pace with economic advances,” AFP reported.

During talks with the Chinese, led by a director general from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chen Xu, the US also raised concerns over China’s crackdown on the Uighurs and the self-immolations by about 40 Tibetans.

And the US delegation raised concerns about Internet freedoms, labor rights and legal reforms.

More from GlobalPost: China human rights: from bad to worse

“Lawyers, bloggers, NGO activists, journalists, religious leaders and others are asserting universal rights and calling for peaceful reform in China,” Posner said, according to Australia’s ABC.

Posner said the US raised with the Chinese dozens of individual cases of those persecuted, the Associated Press reported.

“Our message to the Chinese government is you’ve made progress on the economic front, this is the moment to open up the space to allow people to dissent, to question government actions and to do so without fear of retribution,” he reportedly said.

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