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.
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

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs