News / Asia

China Issues Retaliatory Report on US Human Rights

FILE - U.S. flag and China's flag flutter in winds at a hotel in Beijing.
FILE - U.S. flag and China's flag flutter in winds at a hotel in Beijing.
VOA News
China has issued a report documenting alleged human rights abuses in the United States after an annual State Department global rights survey strongly criticized Beijing.

The U.S. report Thursday denounced a broad range of China's policies, including its crackdown on government critics, treatment of ethnic minorities and censorship of the Internet.

The report did note improvements in China's long-reviled one-child policy, which was relaxed last year, and Beijing's decision, in theory, to eliminate its infamous re-education through labor camps.

But the bulk of the 154-page report on China was negative, highlighting human rights issues that have for years been an irritant to relations between the world's two largest economies.

In its own report Friday, China hit back at the U.S., which it said "carefully concealed and avoided its own human rights problems." Specifically, it mentioned civilian deaths in foreign drone strikes, "rampant" domestic gun violence and a "grave employment situation."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a press briefing that the Chinese people are in the best position to judge China's human rights situation.

"Today, China's State Council Information Office issued a white paper on the U.S. human rights record to show to the world whether the United States, which wants to be the grand master of human rights, is endowed to make these kind of judgements," said Qin.

China does not issue rights reports aimed at other countries, but has now done so with the U.S. for each of the last 15 years.

Joseph Cheng, a political science professor at the City University of Hong Kong, told VOA that Beijing's report is meant to expose a supposed U.S. double standard.

"China certainly hopes to demonstrate that the United States is not a credible critic, that it has its own problems in terms of human rights, and is in no position to criticize the human rights situation of countries like China," said Cheng.

But in criticizing the U.S., Cheng said, Beijing encounters a dilemma, as China's official policy is that nations should not interfere with each other's internal politics.

"[It] goes against China's basic position on state sovereignty and non-interference on other countries' domestic affairs. However, if China adopts this position, if China accepts that mutual monitoring, mutual criticisms is the norm of international society, it is a kind of improvement, that is to say, various countries do monitor each other's human rights situation," explained Cheng.

But it is not clear whether China would welcome an open comparison with the United States on human rights, as this would seemingly be an acknowledgement that all countries should be held to certain universal standards.

China has long argued that it should not be held to the same human rights standards as Western countries because of its status as a developing nation. It also rejects any suggestions by the U.S. and others that it must implement what it calls a "Western-style of government."

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs