Chinese dissident, official trade barbs at UN rights body

A Chinese diplomat repeatedly interrupted a brief speech by prominent Chinese dissident in a failed attempt to block him from speaking at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Seconds into his talk, the dissident, Yang Jianli, was cut off as he questioned the Chinese Communist Party's right to represent China at the U.N. body.

Chen Cheng of China's diplomatic mission stepped in and insisted that Yang's intervention, on an invitation from U.N.-accredited advocacy group UN Watch, "has seriously affected the reputation of council, and it should be firmly opposed."

Tuesday's standoff came during debate about the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, which among other things says non-governmental organizations "should be free to carry out their human rights activities, without interference."