China, US engage in human rights
Updated: 2015-08-16 00:35
By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington(China Daily USA)
US Secretary of State John Kerry (second from left sitting in the roundtable) and Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai (second from right in roundtable) are among several dozen Chinese and US government officials attending last Thursday's opening ceremony of the 19th round China US Human Rights Dialogue held in Washington on Aug 13-14. Provided to China Daily
China and the United States concluded a two-day human rights dialogue in Washington on Friday aimed to address concerns on the issue the two countries have towards each other.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai both attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the 19th annual China-US Human Rights Dialogue.
The Chinese delegation, headed by Li Junhua, director-general of the International Organizations and Conference of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, included representatives from a wide range of government and Party departments such as the China Supreme People’s Court, the lawmaking National People’s Congress, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Justice, State Administration for Religious Affairs and State Ethnic Affairs Commission.
The US side was led by Tom Malinowski, the US assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, with members from agencies such as the State Department, White House National Security Council, Department of Commerce, Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency.
During the dialogue, the two sides discussed rule of law, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, Internet freedom, rights of ethnic minorities, counter-terrorism and other human rights issues. The Chinese delegation said both sides have regarded the dialogue as “candid, in-depth, professional and conducive to promoting mutual understanding” on the issues.
Li, the head of the Chinese delegation, told a press conference on Friday afternoon after the conclusion of the dialogue that there is no single path for human rights development that is applicable to all countries. Each nation should be able to choose its own path appropriate to its national conditions and its people’s needs, and a path that is not forced upon by others.
Li also emphasized the importance for the two sides to look at each other’s human rights situations in a comprehensive and objective way based on the principle of mutual respect and equality. He stressed that the two sides should tackle their differences on the human rights issues in a cooperative and constructive manner.
The Chinese side has expressed concerns over US human rights violations such as racial discrimination, police violence and massive surveillance both inside and outside the US.
Li Junhua, director-general of the International Organizations and Conference of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is head of the Chinese delegation to the 19th round China US Human Rights Dialogue held in Washington on Aug 13-14. Provided to China Daily
Apart from the dialogue, the Chinese delegation also met Congressional assistants and think tank scholars to discuss the issue and toured a detention center in Montgomery County, Maryland.
“The human rights dialogue is a chance for us to engage directly with the Chinese government on human rights in an in-depth manner, focusing on specific issues and specific cases,” Malinowski, the head of US delegation, told the press on Thursday afternoon.
China issued its 2014 human rights white paper on June 8 this year, listing concrete progress in areas of development, democracy, justice system, women and children, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and environmental protection.
While each year the US State Department issues human rights reports on other countries including China, China’s State Council’s Information Office also releases annual reports on human rights violations in the US.
In its 2015 World Report, Human Rights Watch, where Malinowski was its Washington director from 2001 to 2014, pointed out that in the areas of criminal justice, immigration and national security, US laws and practices routinely violate rights.
Often, those least able to defend their rights in court or through the political process—racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants, children, the poor, and prisoners—are the people most likely to suffer abuses, according to the report.
In February this year, the United Nations revealed that it has “credible and reliable” evidence that people recently detained at US military prisons in Afghanistan have faced torture and abuse.
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