China swipes back at US in annual rights report

By REUTERS
February 28, 2014 10:29
1 minute read.

 
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BEIJING - China on Friday accused the United States of widespread human rights abuses, including cyber-surveillance and child labour, in Beijing's annual rebuttal of Washington's criticism of its rights record.

Human rights have long been a source of tension between the world's two largest economies, especially since 1989, when the US imposed sanctions on China after a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

In an annual survey of human rights around the world released on Thursday, the United States noted some positive reforms in China, but said Beijing continued to tighten curbs on freedom and activists and step up repression in Tibet and Xinjiang.

In a lengthy response issued by the official Xinhua news agency, China said the United States "carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems".

The report, without a hint of irony in acknowledging China's sprawling domestic security and intelligence apparatus, slammed the US surveillance programme known as Prism as "a blatant violation of international law", saying it "seriously infringes on human rights".

The United States faces rampant gun violence too, it said.

"In 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings, which caused four or more deaths each, in the United States," it said.

The report also took aim at US drone strikes in countries such as Pakistan, a close ally of China's.

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