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US defends counterterrorism dialogue with China, rights group objects

The United States is defending holding a counterterrorism dialogue with China this week.

Human Rights Watch criticized the discussions, saying it could be viewed by Beijing as acceptance of its repressive treatment of minority Uighur (WEE'-gur) Muslims.

A State Department statement said senior U.S. and Chinese officials met in Washington on Tuesday and committed to "address the shared threat that terrorism poses to both countries and the international community."

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday the U.S. raised with China the need to protect human rights, and concerns over treatment of Uighurs, who claim discrimination by Chinese authorities.

China blames a spate of knife and bomb attacks in its Far West on Uighur separatists with ties to Islamic terror groups abroad, but foreign experts say they see no evidence.

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