Note: Would be an interesting thing if all other nations refused to speak with BushCo or have anything to do with him or his people, wouldn't it?
From the New York Times:
March 9, 2006
China Returns Sharp Retort to U.S. Report on Human Rights
By JOSEPH KAHN
BEIJING, March 9
China today criticized the human rights record of the United States, arguing that racial discrimination remained pervasive and that the American military abused prisoners held at detention centers abroad.
In a sharply worded response to the annual State Department report on human rights conditions globally, which was released in Washington on Wednesday, China's State Council, or Cabinet, said the American government should concentrate on improving its own rights record.
"As in previous years, the State Department pointed the finger at human rights situations in more than 190 countries and regions, including China, but kept silent on the serious violations of human rights in the United States," the Chinese report said.
The State Department's survey, which assesses conditions in all foreign countries, "fully exposes its hypocrisy and double standard on human rights issues," the Chinese study said.
The section of the State Department's report dealing with China said rights conditions had worsened there in 2005, reversing a modest trend toward improved respect for rights that the department had observed earlier. It cited "increased harassment, detention, and imprisonment" of people viewed as threats to the government.
The report also criticized tighter controls on the Chinese press and more assertive censorship of all kinds of media, including the Internet.
Chinese diplomats play close attention to the tone of the State Department report because it often indicates how aggressively the United States will work on censuring China at the United Nation's annual human rights convention in Geneva, which takes place in April.
Though Beijing publicly dismisses the value of the State Department's report, Chinese diplomats often lobby Washington privately to soften criticism and avoid pushing motions to sanction Beijing, Chinese and American diplomats say.
Human rights discussions between American and Chinese officials have been especially tense this year because China has detained and arrested a number of well-known journalists, lawyers, religious leaders and human rights activists, people involved in the talks said. Police and thugs hired by the authorities also have used force to suppress social unrest in the countryside.
To ease condemnation of its record, China recently released several people from prison before the formal expiry of their terms. On Wednesday, the same day the State Department report was issued, the Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based human rights group, said it had been notified by Chinese authorities that Tong Shidong, 72, a physics professor convicted of helping found an opposition political party in 1999, would likely be released three years before his sentence is up.
President Hu Jintao is scheduled to make his maiden visit to the United States as China's top leader in April. Early releases and other concessions on sensitive human rights cases often precede such trips as a good-will gesture. But human rights groups argue that treating political prisoners as bargaining chips has not often heralded lasting improvement in China's rights record.
China defends its progress on human rights. Qin Gang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said Thursday that the government's respect for rights "not only satisfied the Chinese people but also has been affirmed by the international community."
The Chinese rebuttal to the State Department report, much of which appears to be compiled from American newspaper clippings, devoted special attention to what it described as the "chronic malady" of racism.
It said blacks and other minorities had lower living standards, less reliable access to health care and faced discrimination in the workplace. Blacks also got the death penalty more often than whites convicted of the same crimes, it says.
The Chinese report also noted a deterioration in conditions for Muslims in America since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and bemoaned the use of "various kinds of torture" at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other overseas detention centers where suspected terrorists are held.
The unchecked spread of guns in private hands and secret wire taps authorized by the White House were among the other rights problems China cited.