US-China Rights Dialogue: An Exercise in Insanity?

The US Department of State, led by Acting Assistant Secretary Uzra Zeya, participated in the 18th round of the US-China Human Rights Dialogue on July 30-31, 2013. On August 2, the acting assistant secretary gave a press briefing at which she asserted—as is asserted nearly every year—that China’s human rights situation was deteriorating. If that is in fact the case, why does the United States agree, year after year, to continue the dialogue? (Photo credit: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PRC)

RelatedSelected Individuals Named at the 18th US-China Dialogue

The “Cult” of Buddha

China’s central government began labeling and banning religious groups as “cults” (邪教) in 1995—four years before the proscription of Falun Gong. Among the banned groups are three Buddhist sects: True Buddha School, Guanyin Famen, and Yuandun Famen. Reasons cited for their prohibition include foreign infiltration, so-called anti-China remarks, and apocalypticism. (Photo credit: Shengli Oil Field Anti-Cult Association)

Prisoner Update

We report on sentence reductions for Guangzhou publisher Liang Jiantian (梁鉴天), former Xinhua News Agency employee Chen Yulin (陈瑜琳), and Taiwanese resident Lin Jieshan (林介山), as well as possible clemency for Lai Yiwa (赖亦瓦), Guo Li (郭利), Wei Pingyuan (魏平原), and Wang Ruiquan (王瑞泉). (Photo credit:

Dui Hua News

A brief look at Dui Hua activities from May through August highlighting advocacy and outreach, a visit from Hu Zhicheng (胡志成), staff updates, and coverage of Dui Hua’s execution estimates by The Economist. (Photo credit: AP)