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U.S. and China to hold human rights talks amid crackdown

From Jo Ling Kent, CNN
A plainclothes policeman (R) stands in front of the entrance to the studio of outspoken artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing on April 8, 2011.
A plainclothes policeman (R) stands in front of the entrance to the studio of outspoken artist Ai Weiwei in Beijing on April 8, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The human rights meetings follow a crackdown on Chinese dissidents in recent months
  • The discussions will focus on human rights developments in China, the U.S. State Department says
  • Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport on April 3
RELATED TOPICS
  • China
  • Beijing
  • Human Rights Policy

Beijing (CNN) -- China and the United States will hold two days of talks on human rights in Beijing next week, the State Department said Friday.

Michael Posner, the assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, will lead the American delegation to China on Wednesday.

The meetings follow a crackdown on Chinese dissidents in recent months.

The U.S.-China discussions will focus on human rights developments in China, particularly on "forced disappearances, extralegal detentions, and arrests and convictions, " according to the State Department.

Revered Chinese artist branded criminal

Officials will also discuss other issues such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression and minority rights.

The announcement of the bilateral meeting comes nearly three weeks after Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was detained at the Beijing airport.

Dozens of Chinese dissidents, lawyers and activists have been rounded up over the past two months.

 
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