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

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More