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Rice: US to Question China on Treatment of Dissidents

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Washington is concerned about reports of a Chinese government crackdown on dissidents ahead of President Bush's visit.

Ms. Rice told reporters in Beijing Sunday the United States would strongly raise its concerns with Beijing. She says U.S. officials will seek clarification on the matter, and will make clear "open societies societies allow people to express themselves."

The French news agency (AFP) says Chinese authorities have recently detained or placed under house arrest at least a dozen dissidents and activists.

Secretary Rice also says Washington is disappointed in China's lack of progress to a request made in September for action on specific human rights cases.

The secretary says the issue of human rights in China will be a long conversation over a long period of time.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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