The U.S. and China will hold an annual dialogue on human rights in the Southern Chinese city of Kunming next week.

The Washington government said Friday that it will discuss Beijing's human rights record including the rights of the minorities in China. Besides attending the human rights dialogue, the U.S. delegation will also visit Beijing to meet with officials and the civil society.

"The promotion of human rights remains a key tenet of US foreign policy, including toward China, and we are committed to continuing candid and in-depth discussion with the Chinese government on this issue," said the U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki in a statement.

"The Human Rights Dialogue provides an important opportunity to elaborate on our concerns about China's human rights record and to encourage progress, building on engagement on this topic throughout the year," said Jen Psaki.

Psaki also added that its delegation will raise issues such as freedom of religion, labor rights and China's treatment towards ethnic minorities during the talks that are slated to be held next Tuesday and Wednesday.

In an effort to gather firsthand accounts of China's behavior towards minorities and, U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke visited Tibet's capital, Lhasa and met with local residents and authorities in the city.

As the human rights meeting is coming up, Chinese human rights activists, Uyghurs and Tibetans are all gearing up to send petitions and hold demonstrations urging the U.S. delegation to be firm and to use the event as an opportunity to press Beijing into addressing the grievances of the minorities in the country.

"At several occasions, Washington had assured to raise human rights issues in Tibet, especially amid a chain of selfimmolations in recent years and this is the right time to put their words into action," said Tenzin Migmar, a Tibetan college student leader.

"More than 117 Tibetans have burned themselves in protest against China's policies and with the hope that democratic countries like U.S. would help to end China's inhuman treatment of the people in Tibet and China," added Migmar.