The United States announced on October 24, 2002, that it will hold its 11th human rights dialogue with China in Beijing during the week of December 16, 2002.

State Department Deputy Spokesman Philip T. Reeker said that Lorne W. Craner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, will lead the U.S. delegation.

The last round of human rights dialogue with China took place in Washington, D.C., in October 2001 when the Chinese side was led by Chinese Foreign Ministry Director General of International Organizations Li Baodong.

At that time the State Department announced that the two sides “held constructive talks.”

“During their three-day visit, the Chinese received a clear and consistent message about the importance of human rights in the U.S.-China relationship,” State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said on October 12, 2001.

During previous human rights dialogues, the United States had raised the issue of Tibetan political prisoners, including that of the Panchen Lama.