China has rejected calls from Western and Latin American nations to abolish the death penalty and improve the rights of ethnic minorities.

Chinese officials dismissed the proposals during an international debate on Beijing's rights record at a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on Monday. The 47-nation council released a report on the discussion Wednesday.

During the debate, China rejected virtually every human rights appeal made by several nations, including Britain and Mexico. The Chinese delegation also dismissed accusations that Beijing tortures dissenters.

Several developing nations at the rights meeting defended China from its Western critics. Pakistan said criticism of China's treatment of Tibet is politically motivated, while Sri Lanka rejected any criticism of Beijing by former colonial powers that occupied parts of China.

China's foreign ministry said Tuesday that Beijing is committed to protecting and improving human rights, including freedom of speech and religion.

It said Beijing also places an emphasis on raising the living standards of Chinese people.

China's discussion of its human rights record at the U.N. Human Rights Council was part of a periodic review that all U.N. members must undergo.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.