Politics

Tit For Tat: China Hammers US On Human Rights

In an obvious case of the pot calling the kettle black, China published a report on Friday condemn the human rights situation in the U.S., claiming Americans were “haunted” by guns and that U.S. authorities regularly used cruel torture on prisoners. The report was made public barely 24 hours after the United States issued a  report that referred to “routine repression and coercion” in China.

Tit For Tat: China Hammers US On Human Rights

Not too surprisingly, this repartee between superpowers comes the same week as the two nations’ annual “strategic and economic dialogue” in Washington D.C., where representatives from both sides of the talks kept focused on the need for co-operation while highlighting the issues where they differ.

More on China’s dueling human rights reports

China’s report on the U.S. started by pointing out that the the recent global report put out by the U.S. had commented on other countries “while showing not a bit of regret for or intention to improve its own terrible human rights record”.

The Chinese report focused on American cultural problems such as rampant gun crime, racism, the growing power of political lobbying, income inequality and U.S. intelligence agencies spying on American citizens.

The section on torture practiced by American authorities was particularly graphic and noted brutal methods such as sleep deprivation, waterboarding, solitary confinement, slamming prisoners, lashings, death threats and “rectal rehydration”.

Political hot potato issues including the deaths at the hands of the police of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York were also mentioned in the report. The deceased were unarmed African-Americans and their cases led to a major debate over racism across the country, which moved front and center again over the last few days following the murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston by a white man motivated by racial hatred. This most recent incident has led to a backlash against the Confederate flag, which is seen as a racist symbol.

The Chinese report on American human rights noted: “According to an analysis of federally collected data, young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts — 21 times greater.”

The U.S. state department report on China, on the other hand, highlighted how “officials continued to employ harassment, intimidation, and prosecution of family members and associates to retaliate against rights advocates and defenders.”

The U.S. report was listed a number of specific cases as examples of the abuses, pointing to extrajudicial killings, disappearances and detention without communication, harassment, extreme limits on freedom to assemble, racial and gender discrimination and ubiquitous government corruption.