China, host of the summer Olympics, is an authoritarian nation that denies its people basic human rights and freedoms, harasses journalists and foreign aid workers and tortures prisoners, the United States charged Tuesday. China is still among the world's human rights abusers despite rapid economic growth that has transformed large parts of Chinese society, the State Department said in an annual accounting of human rights practices around the world. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement that, despite challenges, champions of human rights are persevering around the world. "This document is collected and written with the optimism that no corner of the earth is permanently condemned to tyranny," she said. "Change may, indeed change will, take time; but change will come."