China-US Go Tit-for-Tat on Human Rights Record

China-US Go Tit-for-Tat on Human Rights Record
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

The US State Department has heavily criticized the actions of the Chinese government in its annual human rights report.

Last year, China was thought to be involved in the kidnapping of five booksellers, as well as other acts that cracked down on human rights, including the rejection of an academic to become a leading official in Hong Kong University and decreasing press freedom along with the freedom to protest.

The report further elaborates, “Authorities resorted to extralegal measures, such as enforced disappearance and strict house arrest, including house arrest of family members, to prevent public expression of critical opinions.”

Deaths in Tibet and Xinjiang due to protests were also cited. This suggests they could have been avoided if the Chinese government respected basic human rights.

Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malintowski saw the actions conducted by the Chinese as indicative of political problems and insecurity. The report itself stated that China’s “repression and coercion markedly increased during the year against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy” where “the crackdown on the legal community was particularly severe.”

China hits back

A day after the US report was released, China published its version of the annual human rights report. Its main focus was on the US. It said the accusations made by the US were “groundless” and invasive of its internal affairs.

China defended itself by pinning recent economic development as a source of creating greater respect for human rights and that it shouldn’t be beholden to other nations’ views.

The official Xinhua news agency writes, “the US government refuses to hold up a mirror to look at itself, it has to be done with other people’s help.”

US airstrikes in Syria and Iraq were listed as “gross violations of other countries’ human rights.”

It lists gun violence, racial discrimination, drone strikes, government surveillance and corruption from money in politics as the key human rights failings of the United States.

Edited by Edward White

Radio Free America
Hong Kong Free Press
Hong Kong Free Press