China Strikes Back Against US Human Rights Report

< Previous | Home | Next >

Apr. 10 2011 - 11:52 pm | 1,658 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Ai Weiwei, Chinese dissident, missing since early April.

US State Department's April 8 report on China's human rights abuses led China to publish their own laundry list of US misdeeds, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

China and the US had a tough weekend together.

It started Friday when the US Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor issued its reports on various countries worldwide.

In it, State said the "negative trend in key areas of the country's human rights record continued, as the government took additional steps to rein in civil society, particularly organizations and individuals involved in rights advocacy and public interest issues, and increased attempts to limit freedom of speech and to control the press, the Internet, and Internet access."

In April 2009 the Supreme People's Procuratorate disclosed that at least 15 prisoners died "unnatural deaths" under unusual circumstances as of the 2009 disclosure.

According to a Chinese press report, seven of the prisoners died of beatings, three were classified as suicides, two were described as accidents, and three remained under investigation.

The report went on to list a number of political prisoners and Latin America dictatorship style "disappearances".

Needless to say, Chinese officials -- who want to portray their country as both modern and if not democratic, at least aware of the problems under their roof -- were not pleased.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei charged that the US used human rights issues as a means to interfere in internatl affairs of other countries, Xinhua newswire reported.

Lei told Chinese reporters that, "We are firmly against interfering in our internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues," adding that the US should "practice what it preaches."

Late Sunday, China released its own detailed report on US human rights abuses it said. The massive tome lists rising poverty and spending cuts on the poor, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and America's rising prison population.

The report appears put together on the fly, with its first quote sourced from a website called It stated in the opening pages that the US had the highest incident of violent crime in the world.

That is not true. According to the United Nations, roughly 7 Americans in 100,000 are victims of violent crimes each year compared to under 3 in China and India, and more than 20 per 100,000 in Brazil.

Brazil, therefore, has more incidences of violent crime than does the US, according to the International Human Development Indicators published by the United Nations Development Programme.

The report also brought up US censorship of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and other internet controls, oddly citing Charlie Sheen's BFF Alex Jones and his website Prison

The China reported noted that on August 20, 2010, the US government submitted its first report on domestic human rights to the UN Human Rights Council.

During the UN review on November 5, the US received a record 228 recommendations by about 60 country delegations for improving its human rights situation.

These recommendations were mostly ratifying key international human rights conventions, rights of ethnic minorities and indigenous peoples, racial discrimination and closing Guantanamo prison.

The above-mentioned facts illustrate that the United States has a dismal record on its own human rights and could not be justified to pose as the world's "human rights justice." However, it released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries for their human rights practices.

The United States ignores its own serious human rights problems, but has been keen on advocating the so-called "human rights diplomacy," to take human rights as a political instrument to defame other nations' image and seek its own strategic interests.

The US's record is probably a lot worse than China portrayed it. The controversial imprisonment of former US soldier, Bradley Manning.

He has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.

His lawyers said that groups like Amnesty International were denied rights in seeing him, after rumors were that he was being held naked in solitary confinement.

China has its problems, too, and State painstakingly laid them out. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) last week called on China to release political prisoner and Ai Weiwei.

Ai was stopped in Beijing airport while preparing to board a flight to Hong Kong on April 3 and has not been heard from since.

Authorities have not confirmed that they are holding him, although police raided his home and studio later that day. The reason for the action is not clear, but Ai is among the most prominent of China's government critics, and used his Twitter account to comment on injustice, including detentions of fellow activists, according to CPJ.

By Kenneth Rapoza, April 11 2011, 3:39 PM

Start a NEW topic or,
Jump to previous | Next Topic >

< Previous | Home | Next >