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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid