News / Asia

China Willing to Discuss Human Rights Differences With US

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu responds to questions during a press briefing in Beijing (File Photo)
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu responds to questions during a press briefing in Beijing (File Photo)
Stephanie Ho

China is responding to U.S. criticism of its human-rights record by saying it is willing to discuss differences on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The comments were made in Beijing as the two sides continue wide-ranging and high-level talks in Washington. 

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu declined to make lengthy comments about the ongoing Sino-American Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington. But she acknowledged China and the United States have different opinions on human rights, which she attributed to differences in what she called "national situations."

Jiang says she thinks no country has a perfect human-rights record and that there is no one-size-fits-all human-rights policy.

She says China is willing to conduct dialogue with the United States in order to increase mutual understanding and mutual trust. The two sides recently concluded human-rights meetings in Beijing.

China is in the midst of a widespread crackdown on dissent that has seen authorities round up lawyers, writers, artists and activists, and step up disruptions to Internet access.  The increased security is apparently aimed at preventing any unrest inspired by the Jasmine Revolution protests in the Middle East.

Pro-democracy protesters carry portraits of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Hong Kong (File Photo)
Pro-democracy protesters carry portraits of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Hong Kong (File Photo)

One specific issue that has been raised by U.S. officials is the case of well known artist-activist Ai Weiwei. Since he disappeared into detention last month, foreign reporters have regularly asked Jiang for information of his whereabouts.

She says Ai’s case is still under investigation and she warns the outside world from making what she described as "willful remarks" about it. She referred to the artist and said even people who are favored by western countries are required to abide by Chinese laws.

Meanwhile, economic issues, including China’s currency exchange rate reform and the U.S. debt, are expected to continue dominating the agenda in the U.S.-China talks.

Another source of tension is trade, which is heavily tilted in China’s favor.  New trade figures show China had a much higher than expected trade surplus for April.

Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters Friday that for the entire year, though, China is expecting only what he called a modest trade surplus.

Zhu said China is pursuing what he called a basic balance in its trade, which he said is good for the sustainable development of China’s economy and the world economy.

Critics in the US and other countries accuse China of artificially keeping its currency undervalued in order to give it a huge trade advantage.

State-run media say the Chinese currency, the yuan, reached a record high value on China’s foreign exchange spot market Tuesday - slightly less than 6.5 yuan to the dollar.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid