US secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Thursday told China that it cannot deny the "aspirations" of its citizens as she opened talks in Beijing marred by a row over a Chinese dissident.
"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 she opened the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
Clinton, however, did not directly mention the name of activist Chen Guangcheng who on Wednesday left refuge at the US embassy in a deal that has been criticised by human rights activists.
Clinton also called for cooperation between the United States on a wide range of issues including North Korea, Iran and Sudan.