China said today it is ready to restart a discussion on human rights with the US that has been suspended since 2004, the Washington Post reports. The move, announced by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi after a meeting with Condoleezza Rice, comes as China looks to improve its image before the summer Olympics. A growing number of Western rights groups have criticized Beijing's record in recent weeks.
"We are willing to resume the human rights dialogue," said Yang, adding that the talks must be conducted "on the basis of mutual respect, equality and non-interference." Rice welcomed the move but said no dates have been set. China stopped its human rights dialogue with the US when Washington backed a UN resolution condemning China's policies.