US is hypocritical over human rights jibes
Bi Tan  Updated: 2004-03-26 07:42

While pointing the finger at other countries over alleged human rights violations, the self-appointed monitors in Washington are practising exactly what they censure in others.

Showing no respect of the human rights of Chinese citizens, the United States began demanding fingerprints and photos from Chinese applicants for visas to the United States on Monday.

The move infringes the human dignity and right to privacy of Chinese citizens.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodged serious representations to the United States on Tuesday, saying in its statement that the United States should put an end to the move as soon as possible or China will reserve the right to continue representations and adopt reciprocal measures.

Beginning January 5 this year, the United States started to implement the US-VISIT programme at its 115 airports and 14 seaports, under the premise of homeland security.

Foreign visitors arriving with visas had to have their travel documents scanned, their fingerprints and photos taken and their identification checked against terrorist watch lists under the new programme.

Children under 14, seniors over 79 and government officials as well as their spouses who hold diplomatic and service passports are not required to go through the fingerprinting and photographing procedures.

Although the US has once again claimed the move is a global measure, it contradicts itself as citizens of 28 countries enjoying the privilege of visa-free treatment do not have to leave their fingerprints.

This is no doubt discrimination against Chinese citizens.

The foreign ministry voiced concern over the matter before the US move and has lodged serious representations to the United States through diplomatic means since the beginning of this year.

Accusing others of human rights flaws, the United States is supposed to be exemplary. However, it is clearly far from irreproachable.

The United States should lift the fingerprinting requirement for Chinese citizens as soon as possible.

This is not the first time the part-time human rights crusaders in Washington have violated other nations' human rights in the name of safeguarding their homeland security.

Think about Washington's illusion that justice is on its side when it brands others as guilty.

Just because the White House thought former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein may have weapons of mass destruction that threatened the United States, US troops could march into the country and "liberate" its people.

But has Washington ever bothered to show any concern about those being "liberated" in Iraq in its war of "liberation?"

With each and every US casualty counted, has the United States ever attempted to give even a rough account of Iraq lives lost during the "liberation?"

The logic is reminiscent and representative of US arrogance on the world stage.

They can kill anyone they think is a potential threat to their precious lives. That is their idea of human rights.

(China Daily)

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