China Blasts US for ‘Brazen’ Human Rights Abuses at Home and Abroad
The vice premier of China, Wang Yang (left), and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. (Photo: US State Department/flickr/cc)
In a report that covers everything from police violence to income inequality to government surveillance, China has blasted the United States for its “grim problems of racial discrimination,” use of “cruel tortures indiscriminately,” and “terrible human rights record.”
The lengthy report, carried by the official Xinhua news agency and issued on Friday in response to U.S. criticism of China’s human rights record, says the U.S. is “haunted by spreading guns,” while suffering from “serious racial bias…in the police and justice systems.”
“On June 25 local time, the State Department of the United States released its country reports on human rights practices once again, making comments on the human rights situations in many countries while showing not a bit of regret for or intention to improve its own terrible human rights record,” it reads. “Plenty of facts show that, in 2014, the U.S., a self-proclaimed human rights defender, saw no improvements in its existent human rights issues, but reported numerous new problems.”
The Chinese report charges that “money is a deciding factor in the U.S. politics, and the U.S. citizens’ political rights were not properly protected.” It also states that “minority groups and Indigenous people are subject to unfairness in environment, election, health care, housing, education and other fields.”
According to the Guardian:
The China section of the annual US State Department report on human rights conditions globally, released on Thursday, said that “repression and coercion were routine” against activists, ethnic minorities and law firms that took on sensitive cases.
Human rights have long been a source of tension between the world’s two largest economies, especially since 1989, when the US imposed sanctions on China after a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
While senior leaders periodically promise China’s citizens democracy and human rights, the last two years under President Xi Jinping’s administration have been marked by a sweeping crackdown on dissidents and activists.
China has long rejected criticism of its rights’ record, saying providing food, clothing, housing and economic growth are far more relevant for developing countries, pointing to its success at lifting millions out of poverty.
China’s report, titled “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014,” cites news articles, many of them from U.S. media sources, to support its claims.
But its criticisms are not limited to domestic human rights violations. “While its own human rights situation was increasingly grave, the U.S. violated human rights in other countries in a more brazen manner,” the report reads.
“In the field of international human rights, the U.S. has long refused to approve some core human rights conventions of the United Nations and voted against some important UN human rights resolutions,” it declares. “More than that, the U.S. continued to go even further to violate human rights in other countries, including infringing on the privacy of citizens of other countries with the overseas monitoring project, killing large number of innocent civilians of other countries in drone strikes, and raping and killing locals by U.S. soldiers garrisoned overseas.”
The State Department and Chinese reports come in the same week that the U.S. and China held three days of high-level talks in Washington, D.C. Tensions between the two countries have recently been rising.