Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - Page 1 News List

China hits back at US for its ‘woeful’ rights record

Reuters, BEIJING

China yesterday accused the US of spying on its own citizens, discriminating against women and ethnic minorities and allowing gun crime to run out of control, in Beijing’s annual rebuttal to Washington’s criticism of its rights record.

The US government’s yearly survey of human rights around the world issued last week said that repression and coercion in China were routine, especially for rights activists and people living in Tibet and the Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang.

In a lengthy report issued by the Xinhua news agency, China said the US would do better to deal with its own problems than lambaste others as it had no right to be a “world judge.”

“As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions, including China,” Beijing said.

“However, the US turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and never said a word about it,” it added.

The report, without a hint of irony in acknowledging China’s sprawling domestic security and intelligence apparatus, took the US to task for spying on its own citizens, pointing to a bill last year that “authorizes warrant-less wiretapping.”

US federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ communications, the report said, referencing documents collected by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The US National Security Agency eavesdrops on telephone calls and intercepts e-mails, it added.

US police also “often abused their power,” and more US women became victims of domestic violence and sexual assault last year, Xinhua said.

“The lives and personal security of the United States citizens, who were haunted by serious violent crimes, were not duly protected,” it added.

China’s report said that the US failed to pass gun control measures, even after two high-profile mass shootings, endangering its own citizens.

Women and ethnic minorities in the US were discriminated against too, it said.

“Religious discrimination is also rapidly on the rise, with an increase in insults and attacks against Muslims,” it added.

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