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

Photogallery Pope Condemns IS 'Persecution' of Minorities

Pope delivers annual 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and the world) blessing, appeals for end to conflicts in Africa, dialogue in Middle East, condemns Taliban attack in Pakistan More

China Reduces Number of Crimes Punishable by Death

Earlier this year China announced plans to remove nine crimes from the list of capital offenses, including counterfeiting, fraudulent fund-raising and forcing others into prostitution More

Analysis: For N. Koreans, Parody Has Grave Tone

Most North Koreans who might see 'The Interview' would be horribly offended, outraged, and confused More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid