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U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue Resumes: Foundation for Action?

May 14, 2010

Although it is too early to assess the progress made in the just-concluded U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue, Human Rights in China (HRIC) is encouraged by Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner’s comments that a range of specific cases, including those of Liu Xiaobo (刘晓波) and Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), were raised with the Chinese delegation, and that difficult broader human rights issues, such as freedom of religion and expression and independence of the judiciary and the bar, were discussed in the context of an international human rights framework.

Describing the two-day meeting as respectful, frank, and constructive, and laying a foundation for regular, ongoing discussion and cooperation, Assistant Secretary Posner identified at least one concrete benchmark – a legal experts dialogue that will be conducted in the next few months.

“In light of recent legal developments in China, such as the revised Law on Guarding State Secrets,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC, “the potential agenda could include many issues upon which both sides will have clear differences and could benefit from constructive discussion.”

HRIC urges both the U.S. and Chinese governments, as the process goes forward, to draw upon the diverse expertise and experiences of civil society groups and other non-government participants to enrich the dialogue process.


For more information on civil society organizations, see:


For more information on lawyers and rights defenders, see:

For more information on Gao Zhisheng, see:

For more information on Liu Xiaobo, see:


For more information on state secrets, see: