Washington: The United States and China will hold an annual dialogue on human rights next week in the southern Chinese city of Kunming, with the US delegation also visiting Beijing for discussions with officials and civil society.
"The promotion of human rights remains a key tenet of US foreign policy, including toward China, and we are committed to continuing candid and in-depth discussion with the Chinese government on this issue," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
"The Human Rights Dialogue provides an important opportunity to elaborate on our concerns about China’s human rights record and to encourage progress, building on engagement on this topic throughout the year," she said in a statement.
She said the US side planned to discuss issues including China`s treatment of ethnic minorities, freedom of religion and labour rights in the dialogue to take place on next Tuesday and Wednesday.
The two nations started the annual human rights dialogue in the wake of China`s 1989 clampdown on demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, although Beijing refused talks from 2002 to 2008 out of anger at US criticism.
The date of the rights talks was set during the main annual dialogue between China and the United States on July 10-11.
At the close of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington, the United States voiced concern over China`s treatment of its Tibetan and Uighur minorities.
While the US delegation will be led by the Acting Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Uzra Zeya, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of International Organisations and Conferences Director-General, Li Junhua, will lead his country`s delegations.