Photo from tea rose’s Flickr photostream. Used under a Creative Commons license.
As to be expected nowadays, China no longer takes any official criticism of its human rights record sitting down. When the U.S. State Department released its annual human rights report on Friday, with several sections being critical of the endemic corruption and flagrant detentions of dissidents, China wasted no time coming out with its own report on how much the U.S. sucks. After all, a country still suffering from racial tensions, wealth inequality and increases in violent crime has no right to say anything about anyone else, right?
As Xinhua contends:
The U.S. reports are “full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it,” China’s report said.
The United States has taken human rights as “a political instrument to defame other nations’ image and seek its own strategic interests,” the report said.
While illustrating a dismal record of the United States on its own human rights, China’s report said the United States could not be justified to pose as the world’s “human rights justice.”
“However, it released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries for their human rights practices,” the report said.
These moves fully expose the United States’ hypocrisy by exercising double standards on human rights and its malicious design to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights, it said.
The report basically focuses on just about anything you might come across in a Intro to Sociology class – victims of the “War on Terror,” the high incidence of gun crime and racial/gender discrimination, as well as a smattering of unemployment/poverty figures and grumbles about election costs. You can read the full report here. I realize we’ve linked to it already in our Today’s Links section, but I felt the need to highlight some of the more interesting quotes:
(Any boldings you see are ours)
- On U.S. crime rates: “Every year, one out of every five people is a victim of a crime in the United States. No other nation on earth has a rate that is higher (10 Facts About Crime in the United States that Will Blow Your Mind, Beforitsnews.com)” Editors Note: whoever authored the report got the spelling of its source wrong, it should be Beforeitsnews.com. But Beforeitsnews is just an aggregator – the actual article came from a blog called End of the American Dream which derived that statistic from website shilling for security. While the U.S. does suffer from a crime rate that’s higher than one would want for a fully-developed country, this statistic isn’t anywhere near true. I won’t be fact checking every one of the China report’s assertions, but considering this was the first fact stated…
- China hates those stupid airport scanning machines as much as I do: “In the United States, the violation of citizens’ civil and political rights by the government is severe. Citizen’ s privacy has been undermined. According to figures released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September 2010, more than 6,600 travelers had been subject to electronic device searches between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, nearly half of them American citizens.”
- Issues against police abuse: “According to a report of Associated Press on October 14, 2010, the New York Police Department (NYPD) paid about 964 million U.S. dollars to resolve claims against its officers over the past decade. Among them was a case that an unarmed man was killed in a 50-bullet police shooting on his wedding day. The three police officers were acquitted of manslaughter and the NYDP simply settled the case with money (China Press, October 15, 2010). In a country that boasts “judicial justice,” what justice did the above-mentioned victims get?“
- Too many inmates!: “The United States has always called itself “land of freedom,” but the number of inmates in the country is the world’ s largest. According to a report released by the Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project in 2008, one in every 100 adults in the U.S. are in jail and the figure was one in every 400 in 1970.”
- Campaign spending sucks: The U.S. regards itself as “the beacon of democracy.” However, its democracy is largely based on money. According to a report from The Washington Post on October 26, 2010, U.S. House and Senate candidates shattered fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars as of October 24. The midterm election, held in November 2010, finally cost 3.98 billion U.S. dollars, the most expensive in the U.S. history.”
- China may need to brush up on what it means for a committee to approve an act versus how an act actually gets passed: On June 24, 2010, the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which will give the federal government “absolute power” to shut down the Internet under a declared national emergency. Handing government the power to control the Internet will only be the first step towards a greatly restricted Internet system, whereby individual IDs and government permission would be required to operate a website (Prison Planet.com, June 25, 2010). The United States applies double standards on Internet freedom by requesting unrestricted “Internet freedom” in other countries, which becomes an important diplomatic tool for the United States to impose pressure and seek hegemony, and imposing strict restriction within its territory.” More on that Internet “Kill Switch” bill here, if you’re interested in what it ACTUALLY is.
- Racial discrimination, deep-seated in the United States, has permeated every aspect of social life.
- New York, New York!: Minorities do not enjoy the same political status as white people. The New York city’s non-Hispanic white population is 35 percent, while more than 70 percent of the senior jobs are held by whites. Since winning a third term in November 2009, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has announced a parade of major appointments: bringing aboard three new deputy mayors and six commissioners. All nine are white. (The New York Times, June 29, 2010).
- The black people: Minority groups confront discrimination in their employment and occupation. The black people are treated unfairly or excluded in promotion, welfare and employment (Chicago Tribune, March 12, 2010). It is reported that one-third of black people confronted discrimination at work, against which only one-sixteenth of the black people would lodge a complaint.
- So obvious: The U.S. minority groups face obvious inequality in education. A latest report released by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University showed that 81 percent of white, 64 percent of Hispanic, and 62 percent of African-American students graduated from high schools in 2008 (The World Journal, December 2, 2010) Editors Note: Curious about what the graduation rate is for Asian-Americans in the U.S., I looked for this report. I couldn’t find anything about race graduation statistics inside it.
- Getting “reports” from the Daily Mail: “Gender discrimination against women widely exists in the United States. According to a report released on August 11, 2010 by the Daily Mail, 90 percent of women have suffered some form of sexual discrimination in the workplace. Just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.”
- Women in the United States often experience sexual assault and violence.
- Children in the U.S. live in poverty.
- Woah, that’s a lot of abused children! Who knew?: “Children’ s physical and mental health is not ensured. More than 93,000 children are currently incarcerated in the United States, and between 75 and 93 percent of children have experienced at least one traumatic experience, including sexual abuse and neglect.”
- Conclusion: “We hereby advise the U.S. government to take concrete actions to improve its own human rights conditions, check and rectify its acts in the human rights field, and stop the hegemonistic deeds of using human rights issues to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs.”
Heh. Well. I won’t get into the whole argument of what gives anyone the right to point out the flaws of others… but I wonder why they didn’t publish something in response to Western Europe when it similarly printed an unflattering view of human rights in China.