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Rice, Chinese foreign minister trade human rights concerns

[JURIST] US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile] said Friday that she raised concerns over China's human rights records [transcript] during a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing [official profile] that focused on North Korea and Iran's nuclear activities [JURIST news archive]. Rice did not give specifics but said that she discussed "human rights and the importance of several cases." The diplomats are thought to have discussed cases involving Zhao Yan [JURIST news archive], a New York Times researcher who was sentenced in August to 3 years in prison on fraud charges, and Yang Jianli [advocacy website], a Boston-based activist who was arrested in 2002 for entering China on a false passport. Both are believed to have been arrested as part of a Chinese crackdown on government critics.

Li said he had raised his own human rights concerns with Rice and discussed cases "involving two Chinese citizens." Li added that "China is ready to continue its dialogue with the US on the question of human rights on the basis of equality." China has recently made a practice of countering American human rights complaints with statements and reports of its own highlighting alleged human abuses [JURIST report] in the United States or committed by Americans abroad. Reuters has more.

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