Excerpts from U.S-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on Human Rights

U.S. Department of State - Washington, D.C.


Vice President Joe Biden: “History shows that prosperity is greatest when governments allow not just the free exchange of goods but the free exchange of ideas, that innovation, which thrives in open economies and societies, thrives in open economies and societies. That is – that’s the currency of the 21st century success, that in the long run greater openness, transparency, respect for universal rights, actually is a source of national and international stability.”

“As I’ve said before, I believe that China – presumptuous of me – but will be stronger and more stable and more innovative if it represents and respects international human rights norms. But there are differences that we have. We also have significant challenges – strategic challenges to discuss. Together we need to be addressing the longstanding disagreements and, when sensitive issues arise, work hard not to create new ones.”

Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns: “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. We firmly believe that respect for universal rights and fundamental freedoms will make China more peaceful, more prosperous, and ultimately more secure.”

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