A top United States official has called for the release of political prisoners in Burma.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Eric John recently said he wants to see Burma begin an inclusive political process so its citizens can decide their own future.
He said the U.S. will continue to look for ways to keep the country on the United Nations agenda.
John also said economic sanctions were an important means to show the military junta it will continue to be isolated if its repressive behavior continues.
He said Chinese officials have privately expressed concern about Burma and that the U.S. is engaged in discussions with them about the situation.
John made the comments during a speech at Harvard University in the U.S. state of Massachusetts last week.