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China Condemns US For 'Unilateral Policies', Human Rights Violations - 2003-04-03


China has issued a report condemning U.S. unilateral policies and violations of human rights around the world. The Chinese broadside comes in response to the State Department's annual human rights report, which is critical of China.

China's State Council catalogues a litany of what it calls gross human rights violations by the United States, especially in the U.S.-led invasion against Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.

In a lengthy summary of the State Council report Thursday, the state-run Xinhua News Agency denounces what it called U.S. unilateralism in global affairs. Xinhua accuses the United States of committing human rights abuses around the world.

It says U.S. troops in Iraq have "openly violated the principles of the United Nations charter," causing humanitarian disasters and casualties among innocent Iraqi citizens.

Xinhua says the United States dropped nearly a quarter million cluster bombs during the war in Afghanistan, resulting in thousands of casualties.

The report blasts the United States for "pretending to be the world's judge of human rights." It goes on to describe what it calls rising crime, racism, poverty and police brutality in the United States.

At a news conference in Beijing on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao urged the United States to recognize its own shortcomings before pointing a finger at other countries.

Mr. Liu says that if United States cannot see its own problems, China can help by publishing this report on U.S. human rights violations. He adds that China supports the use of dialogue to solve disputes, rather than forcing other countries to change by interfering in their internal affairs.

China routinely rejects criticism of its human rights record. Its critique of the U.S. rights situation comes just days after the State Department published its annual human rights report, which denounced China for violations in 2002. The U.S. report pointed to allegations that China allows extra-judicial killings, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, forced confessions and arbitrary arrests, among other things.