CHINA has rejected holding discussions with the United States on more than 100 cases of persecution against Tibetans, but said it would discuss 235 other cases involving jailed dissidents. Speaking in Paris, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Qian Qichen, said they would also hold talks with US officials on nine Chinese emigration cases raised by Washington. Mr Qian was speaking at a joint press conference, after meeting the US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher. No major progress was made during the meeting on President Bill Clinton's demand for the release of pro-democracy protesters jailed in the 1989Tiananmen Square crackdown. Mr Christopher said there was no progress in several specific areas, including ''releasing and providing an acceptable accounting for Chinese citizens imprisoned or detained for the non-violent expression of their political and religious beliefs''. A senior US official said that prisoner releases were a key criteria in Mr Clinton's demand and ''today we had first indication those lists [of specific cases] are being taking seriously''. US officials said Mr Christopher told Mr Qian that China must move quickly to satisfy American concerns and not leave action until right before the June deadline for renewal of Beijing's Most Favoured Nation trade status. He also warned Beijing against ''backsliding'' on rights in one area while moving forward on others. It is expected that more detailed discussions will be held this week in Washington. The State Department is due to release its annual human rights report later this week, which US officials said would be critical of China. Speaking on his return to Beijing, Mr Qian said the two sides had a common wish to solve the issue of trade privileges for China, so that it would no longer block the development of bilateral relations. He described his talks with Mr Christopher as marking a major step in high-level contacts between the two countries. Mr Qian said his meetings with French leaders, including the Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, had helped promote the development of bilateral relations and strengthened mutual understanding.