US raps China for ‘serious backsliding’ on rights | Pakistan Today

US raps China for ‘serious backsliding’ on rights

A US envoy accused China of “serious backsliding” following talks Thursday on human rights that were held as Beijing carries out a severe crackdown on government critics.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner made the accusation in comments to reporters after heading a delegation to the two-day US-China Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing.
“In recent weeks we have seen a serious backsliding on human rights and the discussion of these negative trends dominated the human rights dialogue over the past few days,” Posner said.
“The most senior officials of the United States are deeply concerned about the deterioration of human rights in China.”
In unusually direct language, the US State Department last week made clear it would zero in on China’s clampdown and the “negative trend of forced disappearances, extralegal detentions, and arrests and convictions”.
Chinese authorities have launched their toughest campaign against government critics in years after anonymous online appeals emerged in February calling for weekly protests to emulate those that have rocked the Arab world.
Scores of Chinese activists and rights lawyers have been rounded up since the emergence of the “Jasmine” campaign, which has not resulted in any reports of demonstrations.
China has been criticised worldwide over the crackdown, particularly since prominent artist Ai Weiwei disappeared into police custody in early April.
A staunch critic of the Communist Party whose fame had until now largely shielded him, Ai is being investigated for “economic crimes”, the government has said, without giving details.

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