News / Asia

    China Pushes Back on US Criticism of Human Rights

    Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who flew to the United States last week, said China's handling of the local officials who harassed and abused him and his family will determine whether the country can begin to achieve rule of law, May 24, 2012.Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who flew to the United States last week, said China's handling of the local officials who harassed and abused him and his family will determine whether the country can begin to achieve rule of law, May 24, 2012.
    x
    Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who flew to the United States last week, said China's handling of the local officials who harassed and abused him and his family will determine whether the country can begin to achieve rule of law, May 24, 2012.
    Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who flew to the United States last week, said China's handling of the local officials who harassed and abused him and his family will determine whether the country can begin to achieve rule of law, May 24, 2012.
    Shannon Sant
    BEIJING - China Friday pushed back against U.S. criticism of its human rights record in the past year, calling it “filled with prejudice.” But while Beijing defended its record, blind lawyer and government critic Chen Guangcheng says the country has progress to make in ensuring the rule of law.

    China’s government criticized the U.S. State Department’s annual assessment of human rights issues that said Beijing had increased efforts to silence dissidents and lawyers through the use of house arrest and enforced disappearance.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei spoke to reporters in Beijing.

    He says the China related content is filled with prejudice and disregards the facts and confuses right and wrong. He says more than 30 years of reform and opening up China’s human rights record has achieved remarkable progress.

    Hong says that the Chinese people have the biggest say about the human rights situation in China.

    The State Department report included a description of the harassment of blind lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who made a daring escape after being kept for several years under house arrest by local officials in his village in Shandong Province.

    Chen Guangcheng had represented women who were victims of forced sterilization and abortions. His escape pushed the issues of rule of law and human rights to the forefront of news coverage of China, and created a diplomatic crisis with the United States.

    China granted permission for Chen and his immediate family to move to the United States and they arrived in New York on Saturday.

    In one of his first television interviews since his arrival with Reuters news agency, he called for the prosecution of the officials who kept him under house arrest and said he is deeply concerned for the welfare of his extended family in Shandong Province.

    He says if the central government quickly investigates and deals with these officials who have violated China’s laws, then China can move towards a path of the rule of law as quickly as possible. But he says if local officials continue to act wildly and as they wish, perhaps in the near future my family’s situation will not be good, and I think construction of the rule of law the central government has undertaken during the last few decades will be thoroughly ruined.

    This week Chen Guangcheng’s brother made his own escape from Shandong, after his son was charged by Shandong police with “intentional homicide.” Chen worries other members of his family will face torture and persecution by local authorities.

    He says now my older brother escapes house arrest and comes to Beijing in search of a lawyer for my nephew. This is an extremely normal thing and the most basic right of a Chinese citizen.

    Chen says, if his nephew’s legal rights cannot be assured, then it is a sign that the development of China’s legal system in the past few decades has already been undone by law breaking officials within the judicial system.

    In 2008 the United State dropped China from its list of the worst human rights abusers, but this year’s report says human rights conditions in China have deteriorated. It accuses authorities of continuing to commit serious human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial detentions and house arrests.

    China has long rejected outside criticism of human rights abuses as interference in its internal affairs - a view echoed by spokesman Hong Lei in Beijing Friday.

    He says countries can have equal dialogue to enhance mutual understanding and promote each other, but such issues should never be used as a tool to attack others or interfere in other countries internal affairs.

    The annual State Department report is mandated by Congress and runs several hundred pages long. This year the report praised Myanmar and Tunisia for positive changes in improving civil liberties, including freeing political prisoners and lifting restrictions on freedom of the media, assembly and association.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: whoever from: wherever
    May 29, 2012 6:53 PM
    I agree, US is much more evil than China. China only violate human rights in it's own country while US violate all over the world & directly responsible for millions of deaths.

    by: Observer from: Asia
    May 29, 2012 7:06 AM
    There is a need for a fair competition among the Chinese to improve life in China. For that to happen, there need to be more than just one political party representing over one billion people.

    by: An ordinary Chinese from: Wuhan
    May 28, 2012 3:57 AM
    I didn't see through the reports and the above article. I came directly to the comments. Zhuangmin, I have no interest to speak of it. The human rights report, I think it's like a saying of marritial relationship. Some guys treat their wives kindly, some guys don't and we have an example, North Korea. If the assuming it as marriage, the people should divorce the government.

    by: Jedy
    May 27, 2012 11:24 PM
    From ordinary people like me, this fight like two dogs to kill other.

    by: Ming Yao
    May 27, 2012 5:16 PM
    The Chinese support their government on the whole, you know.

    by: Great from: Usa
    May 26, 2012 12:52 PM
    Good job obfuscating the truth, voice of America. The whole story has nothing to do with the blind activist, but that china lashed back at the US report. They published their own port on US human rights abuses, about US extra judicial killings abroad and trappling on the rights of our own dissidents. but no mention of that here. Excellent journalism, big brother.

    by: Zhuangmin from: Shijiazhuang,Hebei,China
    May 26, 2012 11:36 AM
    Zhuangmin wants to challenge all American.Zhuangmin wants to be the democracy teacher of modern American.The reason is that the Chinese democracy activists ,who the United States of America supports,are the barriers that affects Chinese to have pragmatic and rational democracy.Are there any Americans dare to challenge the eight programme of Zhuangmin thought?

    by: Jonathan Huang from: Canada
    May 25, 2012 11:32 PM
    In China the priority of human rights are right to have enough food, clean water, a place to live, chance to get educated, chance to find a job. Under this criterion, CCP did great job, and Chinese government is the best in the world because help majority Chinese come out of poverties. Democratic India should be shame of itself. CCP is also making China a second super power, majority Chinese around the world is supporting CCP.

    by: Mary Wilson from: USA
    May 25, 2012 7:48 PM
    USA should help its own citizen illegally blocked in China for 4 years come home!!! Please see www.change.org/petitions/help-my-father-dr-zhicheng-hu-come-home

    by: Cha Cha Cohen
    May 25, 2012 1:37 PM
    Every country on earth violets Human right it is time they should respect it without quibbling! At the end the ordinary people, many times innocent suffers, which is not fair!
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora