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

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs