US-China Human Rights Dialogue Ends With Whimper

April 28, 2011 Updated: April 28, 2011

Details are thin on the recent human rights dialogue held behind closed doors between the United States and China. But in comments made to American media outlets in China, the State Department did not think the two days of discussions from April 27– 28 were very productive.

Led by Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, the U.S. delegation pressed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials and bureaucrats on a number of specific cases of enforced disappearances, part of a recent and unusually brazen trend by Chinese authorities trying to crush dissent. “There was no sense, no sense of comfort from the response or the language,” Posner said in a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

His remark, “We had a tough set of discussions,” was widely reported.

Both sides had fired a round of rhetorical grapeshot at the other in the week preceding the meeting.

On April 21, the United States abruptly announced that the meeting would be held in Beijing and address the “negative trend of forced disappearances, extralegal detentions, and arrests and convictions.” Many observers felt this was “unusually direct” language.

Communist Party-controlled mouthpieces hit back two days later, “slamming” the U.S.’s own human rights record, which was said to be characterized by “violent and discriminatory elements.”

State Department officials contacted by The Epoch Times were not available to comment about the dialogue.