Rights groups urge US to raise concerns with China

MGN Online

BEIJING (AP) - Human rights groups are urging Secretary of State John Kerry to raise the treatment of dissidents and other rights concerns during a weekend visit to China expected to be dominated by talk of North Korea.

The groups said in a letter to Kerry that they fear human rights concerns have been sacrificed as Washington pursues economic opportunities in China and seeks Beijing's support on North Korea, Iran, and other international concerns.

They said China perceives this "soft-pedalling" as a sign of weakness. They said that hurts the U.S. by convincing Beijing that U.S. power is declining and that Washington only uses human rights concerns for political gain.

The letter was sent to reporters in Beijing on Friday.

Seven groups signed the letter, including Amnesty International and Freedom House.

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