Activists hold placards with Chinese words that say "release Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng" during a protest outside the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong in May as they demand the Chinese government to release the political prisoners who are in urgent health conditions. This week's resumption of U.S.-China human rights talks after two years will spotlight what critics say is a deterioration in Beijing's record on legal protections, free speech and civil society, and are expected to take up individual cases such as Liu Xiaobo's, along with a list of topics including religious freedom, attacks on the legal profession and China's strict Internet controls. (Associated Press)

Activists hold placards with Chinese words that say "release Liu Xiaobo and Gao Zhisheng" during a protest outside the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong in May as they demand the Chinese government to release the political prisoners who are in urgent health conditions. This week's resumption of U.S.-China human rights talks after two years will spotlight what critics say is a deterioration in Beijing's record on legal protections, free speech and civil society, and are expected to take up individual cases such as Liu Xiaobo's, along with a list of topics including religious freedom, attacks on the legal profession and China's strict Internet controls. (Associated Press)