US lists rights abuses in China, Russia, others in annual report

The United States branded China an authoritarian human rights abuser, citing alleged torture, state control of basic aspects of daily life, tight controls on religion and harassment of foreign charities. China, host of the summer Olympics, has rampant and chronic human rights problems despite rapid economic growth that has transformed large parts of Chinese society, the State Department said Tuesday in its annual accounting of human rights practices around the world. The world's most populous nation, China is an increasingly important US trade partner and a chief competitor with the United States for energy and shrinking natural resources. It is the object of broad US economic and diplomatic outreach, with mixed results. The United States, other nations and outside advocacy groups have tried to use the world media attention and prestige associated with the Olympics to leverage internal change and diplomatic cooperation from China, but the games are barely mentioned in the human rights report.