WASHINGTON (AP) -- The United States says the human rights situation in China is deteriorating and it is time for its authoritarian government to allow dissent.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner was speaking after an annual U.S.-China human rights dialogue that ended in Washington on Tuesday.
The closed-door dialogue is a chance to broach Beijing's treatment of democracy activists and religious and ethnic minorities, a perennial sore point in relations with Washington.
Posner said there is growing frustration among many Chinese people that they don't have the ability to express their differences with the government.
He told reporters Wednesday: "Our message to the Chinese government is you've made progress on the economic front, this is the moment to open up the space to allow people to dissent."