Kerry decries human rights abuse in China

Beijing, June 7 (IANS) US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday denounced human rights violations in China and expressed concern over the country’s recently-approved law on foreign non-profits.

During his speech at the closing ceremony of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing, Kerry said he had put forward “international concern” over the infringements of the freedoms of expression and religion in China and remonstrated against the persecution of lawyers, religious heads and civil society leaders, EFE news reported.

Kerry also criticised the Foreign NGO Management Law passed by the Chinese Legislature in April, set to enter into force in 2017, and which has triggered an international outcry due to the widespread perception it will make the work of such groups in the country more difficult.

Kerry stressed again the importance of allowing such organisations to continue functioning effectively, adding they are working to build understanding between the two countries.

Chinese State advisor Yang Jiechi responded to the criticisms on the same platform saying that the “progress” in human rights in China has been widely acknowledged and that the country’s citizens enjoy freedom in matters of both expression and religion.

Yang indicated the law regulating foreign non-governmental organisations is part of China’s reforms process.

Meanwhile, Kerry also noted that experts from both countries will coordinate the implementation of sanctions against North Korea as adopted by the UN Security Council, while Yang reiterated China’s bid to find a peaceful solution to tensions in the peninsula.

–IANS

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