China says US Human Rights Record 'Dismal'; Have No Standing to Criticize Others

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Common Dreams

China says US Human Rights Record 'Dismal'; Have No Standing to Criticize Others

America is lying to itself when referring to itself as the 'land of the free'

by
Common Dreams staff

Chinese flag waves in the wind. The Chinese government says United States is lying to itself when referring to itself as the 'land of the free'. (Getty images)

"The United States' tarnished human rights record has left it in no state -- whether on a moral, political or legal basis -- to act as the world's 'human rights justice,'" according an annual report  released on Friday by the Chinese government.

"The facts contained in the report are a small yet illustrative fraction of the United States' dismal record on its own human rights situation," the report said, which was seen as a clear sign of pushback by Beijing for continued US criticism of its human rights record.

According to reporting by CNN, the Chinese cite arrests of protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement in the US and accusations of widespread police brutality.

"The country is lying to itself when referring to itself as the 'land of the free'," it said.

The report accuses the US of having 'fairly strict restrictions' on the Internet, saying the U.S. Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act both have clauses about monitoring the Internet, giving the government or law enforcement organizations power to monitor and block any Internet content "harmful to national security."

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CNN reports:

China criticized a "woeful" human rights record in the United States on Friday, a day after a U.S. report said Beijing's own record is getting worse, with harsh crackdowns on dissidents.

"The United States' tarnished human rights record has left it in no state -- whether on a moral, political or legal basis -- to act as the world's 'human rights justice,' " China said in an annual report on U.S. human rights.

The report cited the arrests of protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. Many protesters, it said, accused police of brutality.

It also said the United States has "fairly strict restrictions" on the Internet, saying the U.S. Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act both have clauses about monitoring the Internet, giving the government or law enforcement organizations power to monitor and block any Internet content "harmful to national security."

"The facts contained in the report are a small yet illustrative fraction of the United States' dismal record on its own human rights situation," China's report said.

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Reuters adds:

Human rights have long been a source of friction between China and the United States, especially since 1989 when the United States and other Western countries imposed sanctions on China after a crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

China rejects criticism of its rights' record, saying providing food, clothing, housing and economic growth are far more relevant for developing countries like it, pointing to its success at lifting millions out of poverty.

Hong said each country could exchange views and lessons on human rights through "dialogue on an equal footing".

"By no means should these issues be used as tools to meddle in the domestic affairs of other countries. We hope that the United States will truly take a long, hard look at itself and put an end to its mistaken ways and thinking."

In what has become China's standard response to the yearly U.S. criticism, the government later issued its annual assessment of the rights situation in the United States, saying U.S. problems meant it had no right to lecture others.

"The United States has turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and remained silent about it," the government said in the report, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, pointing to issues as diverse as domestic crime and the war in Afghanistan.

"The country is lying to itself when referring to itself as the 'land of the free'," it said.

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