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|Tuesday, February 27, 2001, updated at 19:12(GMT+8)|
China Issues Article on US Human Rights ConditionsIn response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2000 issued Monday by the US State Department, China Tuesday released an article headlined "US Human Rights Record in 2000" detailing rampant infringement of human rights in the United States.
This is the second consecutive year that the Information Office of the State Council has released an article on the US human rights record.
The article said that the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2000 issued by the US State Department denounced more than 190 countries, including China, for their human rights conditions and falsely accused these countries of certain abuses.
At the same time, the US report on human rights around the world said nothing about America's own human rights situation, the article said.
Citing a number of examples, the six-part article dispelled the myth of "American Democracy," giving a blow-by-blow account of human rights violations in the US, such as escalating violence, unfair judicial practices, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, widespread gender discrimination and racial discrimination, ill-treatment of children and minorities, as well as its arbitrary interference in the human rights issues of other countries.
The article said that by elevating itself to a "model of democracy," the United States continuously hawks "American-style democracy" to other countries. Under the pretext of safeguarding this kind of democracy, the United States continues to make rash criticisms of other countries and interferes in their internal affairs.
Nevertheless, the article noted, well-informed people know that the so-called democracy has been nothing more than a fairy tale since the United States was founded more than 200 years ago.
The 2000 presidential election debacle further exposed the inherent flaws of the general election system in the United States, the article said, citing that the less than 50 million voters who cast ballots for president represented less than one-fourth of the 205 million eligible voters in the nation, hitting a record low in US election history.
With the universal right to vote evidently meaningless to the majority of Americans, the fairy tale of democracy in the United States was further exposed, the article pointed out.
The article said that US democracy and elections are "a rich man's game," as money in the bank often translates into victory at the polls.
The general election of 2000 cost about US$3 billion, 50 percent more than in 1996 and reaching a record high. The congressional races in various states cost another one billion US dollars.
Larry Makinson, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that studies money and campaigns, said, "The depressing thing about American democracy is I can check the fund-raising balances at the Federal Election Commission and tell you what the election results will be before the election, " the article cited.
"Thus, the key of the American democracy is money, which directly impacts election results," the article said.
The United States, the only country where carrying a private weapon is a constitutional right, is a society ridden with violence, it said.
The United States is the world's number one "gun nation" with more than 200 million privately owned guns, or nearly one for each American, the article said.
It went on to say the number of registered weapons vendors in the country exceeds 100,000, more than the total number of overseas outlets of the fast food giant MacDonald's.
Statistics show that over 31,000 people in the United States are shot dead every year, and over 80 people are killed in gun- related attacks every day.
The article said the judicial system in the US is extremely unfair, with the death penalty exercised in 38 states.
By July 1, 2000, there were 3,682 persons on death row in the US; 90 percent of them had been victims of sexual abuse and assaults.
Most of the inmates who were sentenced to death had to rely on court-appointed lawyers as they were too poor to hire their own attorneys, it said.
A team of Columbia University professors revealed on June 12, 2000, that for 68 percent of the death penalty cases in the US, the sentence did not fit the crime.
Despite huge spending on the prison system that far exceeded the federal budget for education, the prisons in the US are overcrowded, prison violence remains rampant, and prisoners are badly treated, the article noted.
The late period of the 20th century witnessed the most prosperous economy in the United States, with the economic growth keeping on rising for 118 months by the end of 2000.
However, the article said that the polarization between the rich and poor was deteriorated and the living standards of the laborers went from bad to worse.
Pressing issues such as poverty, famine and homelessness were difficult to solve. The gap between the rich and poor in the United States was widened in the same pace with the economic growth, it said.
Statistics show that the richest that account for one percent of the US citizens are in possession of 40 percent of the total property of the country, while over 32 million citizens, or 12.7 percent of the total population of the country, live under the poverty line.
The article said that women are paid an average of 26 percent less than their male colleagues in the US and as many as 5,000 children are shot dead annually
An official report revealed that as many as 50,000 women and children are smuggled from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe to the United States every year. They are often forced to become prostitutes or poorly treated workers and servants; some are as young as nine years old.
In the first seven months of 2000, four juvenile were executed, more than the figure of other countries combined in the past seven years, the article revealed.
The article pointed out that racial discrimination in the US has a long history and the world is well aware of it. It also cited that the unemployment rate among African Americans is double that of white, and 98 percent of judges in the US are white.
Only 12 percent of the total US population are black, but about half of the 2 million US inmates are black, and another 16 percent are Latin American, it said.
The article pointed out that the United States, assuming the air of self-importance and playing power politics throughout the world, has done grave damage by encroaching on human rights in other countries.
A report released by the US Department of State and the US congressional research and service bureau said that the US military spending and ammunition exports rank first in the world. Its military spending accounts for one-third of the world's total and exports of ammunitions amount to 36 percent of the global total. Its military spending budget for 2001 increased by US$12.6 billion compared with the US$200 billion for 2000.
The article concluded that "facts speak louder than words and justice is upheld by the public," urging the US government to abandon the old ways and make a new start, take effective measures to improve the human rights record on its own land, take steps to promote international cooperation in human rights, and stop arrogantly ordering other countries around on the pretext of human rights.
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