A senior U.S. diplomat says human rights in China are deteriorating, accusing Beijing of harassing activists' families and repressing ethnic and religious minorities.
Uzra Zeya, acting U.S. assistant secretary of state, said Friday that talks this week with Chinese officials on human rights fell short of U.S. expectations.
Zeya led a U.S. delegation at a two-day U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue meeting in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming. Afterward, she told reporters that China is increasingly harassing and targeting family members and associates of activists.
She also said Beijing's policies in ethnic regions of Tibet and Muslim Uighur regions have become more repressive.
For its part, China -- which largely defines human rights in terms of improving living conditions for its 1.3 billion people -- has repeatedly rejected such U.S. criticisms.
In April, China accused the United States of violating human rights with U.S. military operations abroad. Beijing also accused the U.S. government of failing to protect its own citizens from gun violence.
The Chinese accusations were part of a report released in response to an annual U.S. critique of global human rights that was issued several days earlier.