Biden, Clinton Press China on Human Rights

Protesters gather outside as talks begin in Washington
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2011 3:53 PM CDT
Joe Biden greets Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan during the opening session of the joint meeting of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Monday in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – Chinese officials arrived in Washington today for a round of high-level talks, and were greeted with a light scolding from Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton for their government’s recent crackdown on dissent. “We have a vigorous disagreement in the area of human rights,” Biden said in his opening remarks, while Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dia Bingguo watched. “We have to be honest with each other.” Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, promised “candid discussions” about human rights, the Huffington Post reports.

Dai tried to downplay the concerns, saying China had made “enormous progress” on human rights. But the remarks come amidst reports like this one, and a few dozen protesters lined up outside, chanting things like, “Shame on China!” according to the Huffington Post. Today marks the beginning of the weeklong “US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue,” a summit in which officials from 16 US agencies will meet with their Chinese counterparts.

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