Skip to main content

China hits back on U.S. human rights

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 26, 2012 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
The Chinese flag flutters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on April 11.
The Chinese flag flutters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square on April 11.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Chinese report criticizes the human rights record of the United States
  • It comes a day after a U.S. report criticized China's human rights record
  • China cited the arrest of Occupy Wall Street protesters and Internet restrictions

Beijing, China (CNN) -- China criticized a "woeful" human rights record in the United States on Friday, a day after a U.S. report said Beijing's own record is getting worse, with harsh crackdowns on dissidents.

"The United States' tarnished human rights record has left it in no state -- whether on a moral, political or legal basis -- to act as the world's 'human rights justice,' " China said in an annual report on U.S. human rights.

The report cited the arrests of protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. Many protesters, it said, accused police of brutality.

It also said the United States has "fairly strict restrictions" on the Internet, saying the U.S. Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act both have clauses about monitoring the Internet, giving the government or law enforcement organizations power to monitor and block any Internet content "harmful to national security."

Chen Guangcheng: I'm doing fine
Chinese dissident Chen' new life

"The facts contained in the report are a small yet illustrative fraction of the United States' dismal record on its own human rights situation," China's report said.

Thursday, the U.S. State Department criticized a number of countries, including China, in its annual report on human rights around the world. The human rights situation in China, it said, "deteriorated, particularly the freedoms of expression, assembly, and association," with Chinese forces reportedly committing "arbitrary or unlawful killings."

The report said Chinese authorities have held activists in unknown circumstances and placed their family members under house arrest. Abuses "peaked around high-profile events," including visits of foreign officials, milestone anniversaries and calls for street gatherings inspired by the Arab Spring.

The U.S. report comes after the arrival in the United States of one of China's best-known activists, Chen Guangcheng, after he escaped house arrest and took refuge in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, marking a dramatic diplomatic showdown between Washington and Beijing while U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was visiting China for talks. China regularly criticizes U.S. interference with what it calls domestic political issues.

Although the U.S. report covered 2011, before the high-profile saga over Chen, it detailed concerns about Chen's treatment, including thugs' "severe" beatings of him and his wife. It said that Chen was denied medical care, while activists trying to visit his house in eastern Shandong province said they were "assaulted, detained, forcibly removed or otherwise abused."

The State Department report also criticized the human rights records of Myanmar, Syria, Bahrain, North Korea, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0857 GMT (1657 HKT)
Chinese students show a handmade red ribbon one day ahead of the the World AIDS Day, at a school in Hanshan, east China's Anhui province on November 30, 2009.
Over 200 Chinese villagers in Sichuan province have signed a petition to banish a HIV-positive eight-year-old boy, state media reported.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
A Chinese couple allegedly threw hot water on a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane, forcing the Nanjing-bound plane to turn back to Bangkok.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 0503 GMT (1303 HKT)
China's 1.3 billion citizens may soon find it much harder to belt out their national anthem at will.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Like Beijing today, Los Angeles in the last century went through its own smog crisis. The city's mayor says LA's experience delivers valuable lessons.
December 6, 2014 -- Updated 0542 GMT (1342 HKT)
At the height of his power, Zhou Yongkang controlled China's police, spy agencies and courts. Now, he's under arrest.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 0826 GMT (1626 HKT)
China says it will end organ transplants from executed prisoners but tradition means that donors are unlikely to make up the shortfall.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 0648 GMT (1448 HKT)
China's skylines could look a lot more uniform in the years to come, if a statement by a top Beijing official is to believed.
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 0855 GMT (1655 HKT)
Despite an anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption index has deteriorated in the past 12 months.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
A daring cross-border raid by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates has -- so far -- yet to sour Sino-Russian relations.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
A 24-hour Taipei bookstore is a hangout for hipsters as well as bookworms.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 0153 GMT (0953 HKT)
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.
ADVERTISEMENT