Two-day meetings in Washington, D.C., with Chinese officials led to questions of human rights violations -- concerning the U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner used Arizona's immigration law as an example of America's poor human rights record.
"We brought it up early and often," he told reporters, referring to the talks. "It was mentioned in the first session and as a troubling trend in our society."
Posner is being criticized for making the controversial comments to leaders of one of the top countries in human rights violations.
"The Obama administration's position is ludicrous," China expert Gordon Chang said. "China tortures dissidents, it imprisons the weak, it kills the newly born and it is denying basic rights of praying to God, assembling with friends, petitioning the government."
"And so what does Washington do? It talks about the Arizona immigration law," Chang continued. "Whatever one thinks about this legislation, it does not belong in these discussions with the Chinese."
Republican Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl of Arizona are demanding an apology from Posner, calling his remarks "offensive."
The meetings between the U.S. State Department and China took place May 13-14. The main purpose was to repair ties and hold constructive dialogue on human rights concerns.