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Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in Washington, DC, May 16, 2023.  © 2023 Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(Washington DC) – United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken should put human rights concerns at the top of the agenda during his visit to China, Human Rights Watch said today. Blinken is expected to visit Beijing on June 18, 2023, his first visit as secretary of state, and the first by a US secretary of state since 2018.

In a June 14 letter, 42 human rights groups urged Blinken to call on the Chinese authorities to release all human rights defenders and meet with families of 1989 Tiananmen Massacre victims, among other recommendations.

“Secretary of State Blinken should make good use of his visit to Beijing to inform his Chinese counterparts of the US commitment to pursue an international investigation into atrocity crimes in Xinjiang,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “It’s crucial for the Biden administration to show support both for the millions of people in Xinjiang harmed by Chinese government abuses, and the international institutions that can hold Beijing to account.”


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