U.S. Finds China’s Human Rights Situation Is Deteriorating

Human rights conditions in China are worsening, with the repression of lawyers, journalists and bloggers increasing, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner said today.

“The overall human rights situation in China continues to deteriorate,” said Posner, who oversees democracy, human rights and labor issues for the State Department, after the 17th U.S.- China Human Rights Dialogue.

Posner said U.S. officials raised the fact that more than 40 Tibetans have died setting themselves of fire to protest China’s policies toward Tibet and its culture.

Posner also said that the U.S. raised the arrest and detention of the nephew of Chen Guangcheng, the blind activist whose flight to the U.S. embassy in Beijing roiled U.S.-China relations in April.

China briefed the U.S. on the nation’s efforts to improve legislation and judicial justice, including changes to the Criminal Procedure Law, and on the development of grassroots elections, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

China called for the U.S. to respect its “sovereignty and territorial integrity, existing political and legal systems, and self-chosen development path” and take an “unbiased look” at China’s human rights situation, Xinhua reported.

Both sides are willing to continue their talks about human rights, Xinhua said.