Clinton raises 'importance of human rights' during US-China meeting

Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner are in China meeting with high-level Chinese officials for the annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

"As part of our dialogue, the United States raises the importance of human rights and fundamental freedoms because we believe that all governments do have to answer to citizens’ aspirations for dignity and the rule of law, and that no nation can or should deny those rights," Clinton said. "As President Obama said this week, a China that protects the rights of all its citizens will be a stronger and more prosperous nation."

Chen left the U.S. Embassy earlier this week as part of a State Department deal allowing him to remain safely in China. The situation unraveled Wednesday after Chen had second thoughts and pleaded for President Obama to let him into the United States, causing diplomatic troubles as the strategic meetings got under way.

During her opening remarks at the meeting, Clinton also called for China's cooperation in global and regional issues. She prodded China on the need to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and the need to work together on North Korea and ending the violence in Syria. China has blocked tougher United Nations actions against Syria.