China cited the treatment of protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, stating that their arrests can provide a “glimpse of the truth regarding the United States’ so-called freedom and democracy”.
China Daily/ May 26, 2012
Beijing on Friday swiftly hit back at Washington’s annual report on China’s human rights, saying in a report that the US government’s crackdown on protesters in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration is the real illustration of American democracy.
In the report, Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011, the State Council Information Office demanded the US stop its double standards.
Beijing issued the report less than 24 hours after the release of the Washington report, which Chinese experts said used harsher wording than previous editions and reflected US double standards that meet political needs in an election year.
It was the 13th annual report China has published in response to US attacks.
The US report “turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and remained silent about it”, China’s report said.
The Chinese report states that violations of civil and political rights have been “severe” in the US.
It cited the treatment of protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, stating that their arrests can provide a “glimpse of the truth regarding the United States’ so-called freedom and democracy”.
The US State Department started to present its annual human reports in the 1970s, with China long being a key object of attention.
In its 142-page report on China, Washington slammed Beijing for continued “deterioration” in key aspects of its human rights in 2011.
Double standards are the major characteristic of the US report, said Liu Feitao, an expert on American studies with the China Institute of International Studies.
“Washington adopts a totally different standard to the Occupy Wall Street movement and the protests asking for reform in other countries, which bear no difference in nature,” he said.
In a US presidential election year, the Washington report reflected some hawkish politicians’ efforts to contain China, said Li Haidong, a professor of international studies at China Foreign Affairs University.
The US report blamed Beijing for the immolations of monks in Tibetan-inhabited regions on “political restrictions and lack of religious freedom”. China said the self-immolations were politically motivated, as they were part of the Dalai Lama clique’s scheme to internationalize the so-called Tibet issue.
Commenting on the human rights in nearly 200 countries, the US report claimed that “overall human rights conditions remained extremely poor” in countries including Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, Belarus and China.
The US report “maligns other countries, and the content concerning China ignores the facts and is filled with prejudice, confusing black and white”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday.
“China’s human rights endeavors have made achievements that are plain for all the world to see”, Hong said.
Countries could exchange views and lessons on human rights through “dialogue on an equal footing”, Hong said. “These issues should by no means be used as tools to meddle in the affairs of other countries.”
The People’s Daily said in an editorial on Friday that the US report reflected its alert against a rising China and its restlessness behind the incapability of blocking the rise.
The emotions came as China’s development path has radically rocked the base of the development theory of Western society in which Washington takes a dominant position, the article said.
US criticism of China’s human rights this year is much harsher than before, but China has made concrete progress in its legal system and actions in that regard, said Chang Jian, an expert at Nankai University’s human rights research center.
China published its first working plan on human rights in 2009, Chang said.
This action made China one of the 26 countries since 1993 that have responded to the United Nations call to establish national human rights plans.
“All people pursue human rights, but the ways of realizing them are different from country to country. The US cannot popularize its human rights model to any other country with different conditions,” he said.
The US style has even failed to guarantee its people’s employment rights amid the global recession, Chang said. “More and more US citizens are questioning the political system controlled by a few giant enterprises,” he said.
Here is text of the Chinese Report on US Human Rights.
How the US Government treated Occupy Wall Street protesters
From selected text in Chinese Report:
- Almost 1,000 people were reportedly arrested in first two weeks of the movement, according to British and Australian media (The Guardian, Oct 2, 2011).
- The New York police arrested more than 700 protesters for alleged blocking traffic over Brooklyn Bridge on Oct 1, and some of them were handcuffed to the bridge before being shipped by police vehicles (uschinapress.com, Oct 3, 2011).
- On Oct 9, 92 people were arrested in New York (The New York Times, Oct 15, 2011).
- The Occupy Wall Street movement was forced out of its encampment at Zuccotti Park and more than 200 people were arrested on Nov 15 (The Guardian, Nov 25, 2011).
- Chicago police arrested around 300 members of the Occupy Chicago protest in two weeks (The Herald Sun, Oct 24, 2011).
- At least 85 people were arrested when police used teargas and baton rounds to break up an Occupy Wall Street camp in Oakland, California on Oct 25.
- An Iraq war veteran had a fractured skull and brain swelling after being allegedly hit in the head by a police projectile (The Guardian, Oct 26, 2011).
- A couple of hundred people were arrested when demonstrations were staged in different US cities to mark the Occupy Wall Street movement’ s two-month anniversary on Nov 17 (USA Today, Nov 18, 2011).
- Among them, at least 276 were arrested in New York only. Some protesters were bloodied as they were hauled away. Many protesters accused the police of treating them in a brutal way (The Wall Street Journal, Nov 18, 2011).
- As a US opinion article put it, the United States could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. (The Washington Post, Jan 14, 2012).