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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
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.
AppleAndroid