Fri, Mar 04, 2005 - Page 4 News List

China slams `hypocrisy' of US on human rights

`WANTON SLAUGHTERS' After a US survey criticized China for human rights abuses, China quickly returned charges of prisoner abuse, racism, crime, and poverty

AP , BEIJING

China fired back Thursday at US criticism of its human rights record, issuing a report that denounced the US for offenses ranging from allowing crime and poverty at home to abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The report -- issued annually in response to the US State Department global human rights survey -- accused the American military of committing "wanton slaughters," killing thousands of foreign civilians and torturing detainees.

"The atrocity of US troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the infringement of human rights of foreign nationals by the US," said the report released by the press office of China's Cabinet.

The US State Department survey released Monday accused China's communist government of persecuting dissidents and religious activists, and said prison inmates were tortured and mistreated.

Washington is likely to again seek censure of China next month at the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. Past such motions to censure have been killed by China's allies on the commission.

The Chinese report accused the US of hypocrisy in condemning conditions in foreign nations while staying silent on its own.

"In 2004, the atrocity of US troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the US. The scandal shocked humanity and was condemned by the international community," the report said.

"It is quite ironic that on Feb. 28 of this year, the State Department of the US once again posed as the `world human rights police,"' it said.

The report cited the case of Zhao Yan, a Chinese woman who was beaten and attacked with pepper spray by a US border guard during a visit to Niagara Falls. The guard has been charged with battering her.

In other criticism, the report said racism was deeply entrenched in the US. It said politics were manipulated by the wealthy and dismissed the US electoral system as a "contest of money."

The report cited census bureau figures saying numbers of Americans living in poverty had been rising for three straight years to 35.9 million in 2003. It also said Americans were threatened by "rampant violent crime," and civil rights abuses by law enforcement.

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