WASHINGTON - US Vice President Joe Biden and a group of human rights advocates discussed the "deterioration" of the rights situation in China, the White House said on Thursday, signaling that the issue is likely to figure in his talks with China's vice president next week.
Biden, who will help host Vice President Xi Jinping - China's president-in-waiting - in Washington, met four rights activists and experts on Wednesday.
"They discussed the deterioration of China's human rights situation, prospects for reform, and recommendations for US policy," the White House said. "He reiterated his view that greater openness and protection of universal rights is the best way to promote innovation, prosperity, and stability in all countries, including China."
Beijing has traditionally bristled at such US criticism as interference in its affairs, even though the Obama administration has taken a relatively low-key approach so far.