U.S. State Department said on July 2 that “despite steps in the right direction on human rights” in 2002, China has not met its commitments to address human rights concerns made in December talks with the U.S.

“During much of 2002, we saw incremental, but unprecedented steps in the right direction on human rights,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in a written response to a question asked earlier at a July 2 press briefing, according to an AFP article.

“We have been disappointed, therefore, to see negative developments in 2003,” he said.

“The commitments to make progress on human rights concerns made by China at the conclusion of the December human rights dialogue have not been met, and there have been a number of troubling incidents since the beginning of the year.”

AFP reported that Boucher said the execution of Tibetan Lobsang Dhondup without due process was among Washington’s biggest concerns.

Boucher also said that U.S. diplomats and family members have had no access to trials of political prisoners, while authorities ignore due process rights for people accused of political crimes, according to AFP.

The forced repatriation of 18 Tibetans from Nepal, apparently under pressure from China, was in violation of UN practices, he added.

“This backsliding on human rights is of great concern to the United States and the international community,” the spokesman said.

“We urge the Chinese government to take steps to ensure that its citizens are not persecuted for the peaceful expression of their views, and to release all prisoners of conscience,” Boucher said.