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China condemns US human rights report
Updated: 2004-05-21 00:22

The US annual report on its endeavor to "improve human rights", mentioning no word about the recent abuse scandal by its own troops in Iraq, has infuriated Chinese people of various social strata and incurred indignant denouncement.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao warned Tuesday that the United States should look more into its own problems and think more of how to improve its own human rights situation, rather than meddling in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights.

Condemnation from common people was more harsh.

"How can Americans convince others if they themselves behave so badly? The United States, like an ostrich that buries its head in the sand, is trying to fool itself by releasing a gilded report," said a netizen nicknamed "Fuzi".

Another netizen called "Feiyang" acknowledged that human rightshas become the US' last fig leaf and also an instrument to exert hegemony. "Passing itself off as the 'world human rights guard', the United States has trampled on the basic human rights of Iraqi prisoners and common residents, but its authorities only care about their own political future."

Entitled "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The US Record 2003-2004", the report summarizes in 270 pages US actions in 101 countries to promote freedom and to end abuses, including torture,the very crime American soldiers are accused of in Iraq. The US State Department had postponed its publication for 12 days after the abuse scandal triggered a global uproar.

Chinese college students also found the report outrageous. "It is out and out shameless," said Dong Bo, a student majoring in computer science in Xi'an Jiaotong University in the provincial capital of Shaanxi, northwest China.

"The United States always wants to play the role of Redeemer. However, wherever it declares a war, it messes up the human rights conditions there. The photos of prisoner abuses tell us the truth," Dong said.

Yin Heling, a senior student studying sociology in prestigious Beijing University, considered it quite ironic that the U.S. insisted on issuing the report, which actually slapped its own face with the abuse scandal.

While denouncing the US soldiers' maltreatment of Iraqi prisoners as "a deadly insult to the whole Muslim world", Muslims in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region deemed the report all the more irritating.

"The US government is still making indiscreet criticisms of the human rights of other countries. Look at what Americans have done to Iraqis! Their evil conducts have severely violated Islamic canons," said Abdurekefu Damaolaaji, vice president of the Islamic Association of China.

Academic critics regarded the US' persistent posture on the issue of human rights, as its tool of seeking national profits, could be trailed to the Cold War mentality.

Lin Bocheng, vice president of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development, noted that the United States was the only country to publish a human rights records every year to condemn orpress other countries in human rights problems.

"Its true attempts to interfere in and even to trample on humanrights and internal affairs of other countries, under the excuse of promoting 'democracy and human rights', will never be accepted by the international community," Lin said.

Feng Jiancang, director of the human rights research office with the Ministry of Justice, warned it was wasting time to reduceand weaken the negative influences of the abuse scandal via issuing the human rights record.

"The dirty mistreatments by US soldiers sound horrific and haveconstituted crimes by violating international human rights conventions and international humanitarian laws. One or two records full of distortions and camouflages cannot erase the shamefrom its human rights history," Feng said.

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