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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Tibet issue raised during US-China Dialogue

July 15, 2013

July 11, 2013 - Following on the heels of an announcement by US and Chinese officials that they would "jump-start" negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty, the United States has said it raised the issue of human rights in Tibet during its talks with China.

“During the course of the dialogue, we also expressed our ongoing concerns about human rights in China, particularly recent instability in Tibetan and Uighur areas of China. The goal of this conversation is to emphasize the importance of human rights to the bilateral relationship,” Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said after the two-day US-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue held in Washington from 10-11 July.  

“We firmly believe that respect for universal rights and fundamental freedoms will make China more peaceful, more prosperous, and ultimately more secure,” he said. 

Burns was serving in the place of Secretary of State John Kerry, who officials said raised human rights among other issues during the first day of talks before he returned to Boston where his wife has been hospitalised, AFP reported.

During his talks with China’s Special Representatives to the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, President Barack Obama the United States would continue to speak out in support of international norms such as the protection of universal human rights. 

The US State Department in its annual human rights report said that Tibetans in Tibet faced severe religious repression and societal discrimination. Since 2009, over 119 Tibetans have set themselves on fire to protest against the continued occupation and repression of Tibet. The self-immolators have called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.

- This article has been edited by the Canada Tibet Committee

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