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ICC Note: The U.S. Government has a unique opportunity to raise important human rights issues, including the freedom of religion, with the Chinese Government at the upcoming Strategic & Economic Dialogue.  Pray that those issues will be among the items on the agenda.  

By Sophie Richardson

06/17/2015 China (Human Rights Watch)

United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew should use the upcoming US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue to forcefully advocate better human rights protections in China, nine human rights organizations said today in a letter to Kerry and Lew. The dialogue will take place in Washington, DC, on June 22-24, 2015.

The letter was sent by Amnesty International, China Aid, Freedom House, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, the International Campaign for Tibet, Project 2049, Reporters Without Borders, and the Uighur Human Rights Project.

“Hardly anyone in the US administration thinks the human rights situation in China is improving, and that reality is limiting key aspects of the relationship,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “As a result, US officials who sit down to talk with Chinese counterparts have an interest in urging an end to those abuses.”

The groups expressed appreciation for US efforts to push back against a draft law that would restrict the operations of foreign nongovernmental groups in China and to support some human rights defenders from China. But the organizations questioned whether the US is truly pursuing its stated “whole of government” approach to human rights in China.

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