News / Asia

US Concerned About Crackdown in China as Talks Begin

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) at the Department of the Interior in Washington May 9, 2011.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) at the Department of the Interior in Washington May 9, 2011.

At the start of two days of high-level talks between the United States and China, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both voiced concern to Chinese authorities about China's human rights record and an ongoing crackdown in the country.

Human rights is just one of a broad range of issues U.S. and Chinese officials will discuss at this year's round of Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, as they try to work through areas where their interests diverge and areas of cooperation for the world's two largest economies.

Discussing differences

In opening remarks at the talks, both U.S. and Chinese officials stressed the importance of building cooperation and weathering disagreements when they arise.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the annual talks give the U.S. and China an opportunity to discuss their differences like any two friends would - honestly and directly.

"We have made very clear, publicly and privately, our concern about human rights. We worry about the impact on our domestic politics and on the politics and the stability in China and the region," Clinton said.

Watch a related report by Mil Arcega


Vice President Joe Biden says that while U.S. statements about human rights may, as he put it, "rankle" some in China, it is an issue that still needs to be discussed.

"We've noted our concerns about the recent crackdown in China, including attacks, arrests and the disappearance of journalists, lawyers, bloggers and artists," Biden said. "And again, no relationship that is real can be based on false foundation. Where we disagree, its important to state it."

Some in the U.S. do not believe the U.S.-China strategic and economic dialogue will yield successful results. One of them is Clyde Prestowitz, President of the Washington based Economic Strategy Institute. Prestowitz, who served in the Reagan Administration, tells VOA's Ira Mellman the United States is taking the wrong approach.

Crackdown

In recent months, China has launched its largest clampdown on dissent in years. The crackdown comes as a wave of protests in the Middle East led to the toppling of governments in Tunisia and Egypt and unrest in several other countries.

In his remarks Monday, China's State Councilor Dai Bingguo said that China was making progress on human rights and urged Americans to visit China to understand it better.

Dai says that by visiting China, Americans can experience first-hand the enormous progress China has made in various fields, including human rights, and get to know what he called the "real China."

Market access

At this year's meeting, the third such dialogue between the United States and China since President Obama came to office, the two countries are trying to tackle disagreements over market access, and make more progress on efforts to rebalance the global economy and stabilze economic growth.

China wants more access for its companies in the U.S. market and for Washington to relax restrictions on the export of American-made high-tech goods.  U.S. officials say China's lax intellectual property enforcement and policies are making it increasingly difficult for American and other foreign companies to compete.

"Now more than ever, with two years of dialogue behind us, success depends on our ability to translate good words into concrete actions, on the issues that matter most to our people," Clinton said.

Export-driven economy

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says that in the wake of the global financial crisis, both the U.S. and Chinese economy have grown stronger as they have worked together to address their individual challenges.

In China he says, that challenge is moving from an export driven economy to one that focuses more on domestic demand and implementing a flexible, market-driven exchange rate and more open economy. For the U.S., he says, the challenge is addressing problems such as high unemployment and  promoting education and innovation as it addresses long term fiscal reforms.

"The reforms that we must both pursue to meet these very different challenges are not in conflict and the strengths of our economies are still largely complementary," Geithner said. "And we each recognize that our ability to work together is important to the overall health and stability of the global economy."

Range of issues

The strategic track of the talks will focus on global issues such as cooperation in addressing the North Korea and Iran nuclear issue, efforts to cooperate on climate change as well as military to military ties.

For the first time, this year's dialogue will include a range of military officials from both sides. Following Monday's economic and strategic track talks, the co-chairs of the meeting, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai, will meet with President Obama this evening at the White House.

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' 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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs