For the first time in two years, China and the United States of America are discussing human rights, with a feud brewing over US support for efforts to crack through China's Internet firewall. Senior officials from both countries had closed door dialogues over a span of two days, in Washington.
The United States has pledged to raise a list of longstanding concerns with China, including its restrictions on freedom of religion and expression and its actions against lawyers who have defended unpopular causes. Ahead of the dialogue, United States said it was considering funding Global Internet Freedom, software run by the Falungong spiritual movement to circumvent Internet censorship- banned by China. "We firmly oppose any government or organization providing support to anti-China forces in their anti-China activities," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters in Beijing.
Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are expected to be in China this month for talks. Clinton's deputy, James Steinberg, recently said that while she would raise human rights, the main topics would be the wobbly global economy, climate change and hot spots such as Iran and North Korea.
US, China talk human rights after hiatus [ AFP, 14 May 2010]
US and China sit down for a belated talk on human rights [ CS , 13 May 2010]