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China opposes US human rights report
(China Daily by Sun Shangwu)
Updated: 2004-02-27 00:02

China Thursday expressed its "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition'' to the annual human rights report of the United States, which accuses China of "backsliding'' on human rights.

It is obvious to all that China has made progress in the human rights arena, said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue Thursday at a regular news briefing.

"We hope the United States can treat China's progress and achievements on human rights objectively and correctly, and correct its mistaken practice of submitting such reports,'' she said.

The report, criticizing human rights situation in other countries and regions, also blamed the Hong Kong government for failing to announce a timetable for public consultations on moving towards full democracy.

Zhang said that the issues of Hong Kong relate to China's internal affairs and China opposes any country interfering in Hong Kong affairs.

The United States did not sponsor a resolution against China last year.

But US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Lorne Craner told reporters the United States was heading in the direction of proposing a UN resolution on China's human rights record.

Zhang said that Chinese Government always advocates for holding human rights dialogues on an "equal and mutually respected'' basis.

In past years, China and United States held frank and sincere talks on human rights, which have been proved to be good for strengthening mutual understanding and reducing differences, according to Zhang.

She hoped the two countries can resolve differences on human rights through dialogue.

At the briefing, Zhang also expressed her appreciation for Spain's adherence to the one-China policy.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday it would continue to support the one-China principle and reject the so-called "Taiwan referendum."

Spain said in a communique that the approval for holding a referendum in Taiwan had been a serious mistake which should have been avoided and which would affect the region's stability.

Zhang said the "open and clear opposition'' of Spanish Government to Taiwan authorities' practice is good for deepening Sino-Spanish mutual understanding and promoting friendly co-operation in various fields.

The spokeswoman also revealed at the briefing that the Chinese Government has decided to provide 5 million yuan (US$607,000) emergency humanitarian aid materials to Morocco, which suffered a strong earthquake in that country's northeastern Alhucemas province. The temblor killed nearly 600 people.

And the Red Cross Society of China also provided US$30,000 aid to its Moroccan counterpart, according to Zhang.

President Hu Jintao has sent his condolences to Moroccan King Mohammed VI, and a Chinese medical team in that country has also taken part in rescue work, said Zhang.

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