China slams ‘terrible’ US human rights record

China responds to US criticism of human rights record by accusing Washington of racial discrimination, police abuses and global surveillance

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

China condemned the United States for its "terrible human rights record" on Friday, in a report seen as a response to US criticism of Beijing's human rights record.

The Chinese report came just one day after the US report and was issued by the country's State Council Information Office.

Citing cases of African Americans recently being shot and killed by white police officers, the report said the US is "haunted by spreading guns and frequent occurrence of violent crimes, which threatened citizens' civil rights" and racial discrimination.

It said the United States "violated human rights in other countries in a more brazen manner, and was given more 'red cards' in the international human rights field," according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China claimed "America's institutionalized racial discrimination on law enforcement and the judicial system" is the cause of the problem, adding voting rights of minorities have also been suppressed as "money is a deciding factor in the US politics."

"In 2014, multiple cases of arbitrary police killing of African-Americans have sparked huge waves of protests, casting doubts on the racial 'equality' in the U.S. and giving rise to racial hatred factors," the report said.

China has started to release its own human rights reports to counter the annual reports by Washington on human rights concerns in China and other countries. Beijing do not release reports on other countries.

The US State Department on Thursday released its 2014 report which shed light on China’s human rights abuses, coming after recent high-level talks between the US and China in Washington.  The report criticised situation in both Tibet and Xinjiang, saying "repression and coercion were routine" against activists and ethnic minorities in the regions.

The report also criticised Hong Kong for limiting voters' choices as well as limitations on press freedom. Hong Kong hit back at the report, saying foreign powers "should not interfere" in its constitutional development.

Beijing’s report in response hit back at the US for its global surveillance program and drone strikes in other countries, as well as "indiscriminate" torture against terror suspects.

Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012 nearly 2,000 human rights and other political activists have been detained, according to the organisation Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

Uighur academic Ilham Tohti was jailed for life in September 2014 on charges of separatism for defending the rights of Muslim Uighurs.

Imprisonment of protesters and torture by Chinese police to extract confessions have also been widely reported by human rights groups.

China's report largely cited US media websites including the New York Times, which is blocked by Beijing as part of its Internet censorship regime, AP reported.

Human rights issue have long been a topic of tension between two countries, especially after the US imposed sanctions on China in 1989 for its bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

China says other countries have no right to interfere in Beijing's internal affairs and economic development is a more important issue for a developing country.

TRTWorld and agencies