The United States has no grounds to criticize China’s handing of human rights issues while it struggles to keep its own people in the dark on secrets outlet WikiLeaks, the Chinese government said Monday in a lengthy document released to state-run newspapers.
The document was issued as a response to the U.S. State Department, which published a report Friday detailing the conditions of human rights in nations all over the world.
China pointedly accused the U.S. of doing little to help raise children out of poverty or prevent crime in tightly populated urban areas. They also cited “huge civilian casualties” in America’s wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.
China additionally called out the U.S. on it’s efforts to conduct diplomacy “by other means,” “particularly [via] the social networks,” while it also tries to censor and prosecute the proprietors of the WikiLeaks site, who’ve been extremely effective at exposing government misdeeds.
Overall, China said the U.S. had a “worsening” record on human rights with police torture and gun ownership run rampant.
“The United States has turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentions it,” said the report said.
They also called on the U.S. “to face up to its own human rights issues” and “stop interfering” with other nations by invoking human rights.
American officials on Friday criticized China over a severe crackdown on government critics in recent months, widely believed aimed at heading off any political uprisings similar to those that have rocked the Arab world.
The State Department report said China’s human rights record is on a “negative trend” with growing restrictions on freedom of speech and “severe repression” in its restive Tibet and Xinjiang regions.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday the United States was “deeply concerned” about China’s crackdown, saying “dozens” of rights lawyers, writers, intellectuals and activists had been “arbitrarily detained and arrested”.
She highlighted the case of Ai Weiwei, an outspoken artist who helped design the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic Stadium for the 2008 Beijing Games. He was detained on April 3 reportedly for unspecified “economic crimes”.
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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