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US presses China on human rights, maritime tensions as Day 1 talks end

Published on Jul 9, 2014 10:21 PM
 
US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) applauds after China's President Xi Jinping gave his speech during the opening ceremony of the Sixth Round of U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing July 9, 2014. The United States on Wednesday "forcefully" pressed China on festering maritime rows and human rights, even as the two countries vowed to seek cooperation rather than confrontation. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - The United States on Wednesday "forcefully" pressed China on festering maritime rows and human rights, even as the two countries vowed to seek cooperation rather than confrontation.

Opening two days of talks between the world's two largest economic powers, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned his Chinese counterparts that it would be "unacceptable" to try to create a new status quo in the South and East China Seas, where Beijing is in dispute with its neighbours.

He also did not "pull any punches" when it came to human rights issues, highlighting Washington's "perception of a trend in China with an increase in arrests, with an increase of harassments, of individuals who are expressing political views," a senior US administration official said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier sought to brush aside disputes, saying it was "natural that China and the US may have different views and even frictions on certain issues".

 
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