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Agence France Presse

China Hits Back at US On Human Rights, says Iraq War A Disaster


BEIJING - China on Thursday accused the United States of human rights hypocrisy, as it branded the US invasion of Iraq the "greatest humanitarian disaster" of the modern world.0314 10

In an annual response to Washington's criticism of China's human rights record, the Chinese government labelled the United States arrogant, and highlighted what it said were widespread US failures at home and abroad.

"(America's) arrogant critique on the human rights of other countries are always accompanied by a deliberate ignoring of serious human rights problems on its own territory," said the report, released by the state Xinhua news agency.

"This was not only inconsistent with universally recognised norms of international relations, but also exposed the double standards and downright hypocrisy of the United States on the human rights issue, and inevitably impaired its international image."

The annual report, entitled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2007," presented a wide-ranging attack on the Western superpower's human rights problems, and singled out the US-led war in Iraq that began in 2003.

"The United States has a notorious record of trampling on the sovereignty of and violating human rights in other countries," it said.

"The invasion of Iraq by American troops has produced the biggest human rights tragedy and the greatest humanitarian disaster in modern world."

On the global front, it also criticised civilian deaths in Afghanistan, secret prisons and torture of detainees.

Domestically, the reports said Americans' right to join unions had been restricted, prisoners' rights had been violated, and authorities were involved in attempting to manipulate the media.

The report also launched attacks on the United States' inability to tackle poverty, fight crime and even the exorbitant cost of running for president.

China said it had released the report to give the world a clearer insight into US failings and address the imbalance of the State Department's annual report on human rights, released Tuesday.

The State Department removed China from its list of the world's worst human rights violators, but said there were still widespread problems.

© 2008 Agence France Presse

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