News / Asia

Kerry Talks Human Rights, N. Korea in China

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Feb. 14, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Feb. 14, 2014.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Feb. 14, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Feb. 14, 2014.
TEXT SIZE - +
— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Beijing where he met with senior Chinese officials to discuss rival territorial claims in the region, North Korea's nuclear program, and human rights concerns.

Secretary Kerry says he had frank discussions with Chinese leaders about human rights challenges here, again stressing that the United States believes the free exchange of information contributes to national strength.

"Recent arrests of peaceful advocates for reform run counter, in our judgment, to all of our best interest and the ability to make long-term progress," he said. "I emphasized today that the United States remains concerned about the human rights situation here in China, especially with respect to the Tibetan and Uighur areas."

Kerry told reporters that it is important for Washington and Beijing to manage their differences as there are so many issues on which they work. In talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Kerry says they discussed the war in Syria, efforts to limit Iran's nuclear program, and the challenges of both climate change and clean energy.

North Korea

On North Korea, Kerry is calling on China to do more to get the government in Pyongyang to comply with international nuclear inspections. And he says Chinese leaders assured him they share the goal of a denuclearized Korean peninsula.

"They made it very clear that if the North doesn't comply and come to the table and be serious about talks and stop its program and live up to an agreed upon set of standards with respect to current activities that are threatening to people, that they are prepared to take additional steps in order to make sure that their policy is implemented," he said.

Kerry says China has a "unique and critical role" on North Korea as it is the country's principle supplier of both fuel and banking services.

Easing maritime tensions

On this trip to Asia, Kerry is also working to ease tensions over rival territorial claims in the East China Sea, in the Sea of Japan, and in the South China Sea. China's introduction of an air defense zone around islands claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo has raised concerns that China may do the same in the South China Sea where Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia have rival claims.

Kerry says he told Chinese leaders that the United States hopes all future actions regarding these disputes will be open, transparent, and inclusive.

"We've made it very clear that a unilateral, unannounced, unprocessed initiative like that can be very challenging to certain people in the region and therefore to regional stability. And we urge our friends in China to adhere to the highest standards of notice, engagement, involvement, information sharing in order to reduce any possibilities of misinterpretation," he said.

Kerry says Chinese leaders believe they have a strong claim to the contested waters based on history. But he says they told him they agree that all competing claims should be decided according to international law.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid