A senior State Department official said on January 29, 2004, that the United States is “seriously considering” sponsoring a resolution on China’s human rights practices at the forthcoming UN Human Rights Commission session in Geneva.

Lorne Craner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights & Labor, said at a conference on China on January 29, 2004, that in 2003 there was “backsliding” on China’s human rights commitments.

Craner said the United States had received a “great deal of co-operation” from China in 2002 and that there were “incremental results,” but that this improvement stalled in 2003.

The United States did not pursue a resolution censoring China at the UN Human Rights Commission last year.

Responding to a question Craner also ruled out immediate resumption of the bilateral human rights dialogue with China in the near future asserting, “Talks for talk’s sake is not enough.”

Craner gave the keynote address on “Democracy, Human Rights and U.S.-China Relations” at the conference, “The Future of Political Reform in China,” organized by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C.

This year’s UN Commission on Human Rights session will be from March 15 to April 23, 2004.