The Chinese government on Tuesday criticized the United States for double standards and interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan lambasted the 2001 global human rights report issued by the US State Department, pointing out that the report is another manifestation of US interference in China's internal affairs.
At a regular press conference, Kong said the report fabricated facts and confused truth and falsehood to attack China on its legal system, ethnic policies and human rights conditions.
"The Chinese government and people are strongly indignant about and are resolutely opposed to such a behavior," he said.
He said the Chinese government has been devoted to the improvement and protection of human rights and basic freedoms, and human rights conditions in China are now in the best period of improvement than they have ever been.
Kong said the US turns a blind eye to its own violations in the field of human rights, which are widespread in the US, while arbitrarily distorting human rights conditions in other countries.
"This is exactly intentional," the spokesman stressed, saying that the US has adopted double standards on human rights and ethnic issues, which is sure to incur scorn and opposition from people around the world who respect justice.
China demands the US respect the basic guidelines in international relations, correct its wrongdoings and stop its interference in China's internal affairs at the pretext of human rights, he added.
HK Government Responds to US Human Rights Report
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government Tuesday responded to the US Country Report on Human Rights 2001 concerning Hong Kong's human rights situation.
A SAR government spokesman pointed out that there are a few points in the report which the SAR government is obliged to clarify.
"We note the US government's view on democratic development in Hong Kong," he said, noting that "In considering how to further the constitutional development of Hong Kong, we should consider very carefully the impact of democratic reform on society and adopt a step-by-step approach in accordance with the framework laid down in the Basic Law."
It is widely recognized by the international and local communities that press freedom is respected in Hong Kong, the spokesman said, adding that "The fact remains that the media has been rigorously and relentlessly exercising its role as a watchdog on the government."
The spokesman said the SAR government has spared no effort in preventing Hong Kong from being used as a migrant trafficking center. "We will continue to maintain close trans-boundary cooperation with law enforcement agencies overseas and in the Mainland to bring migrant smugglers to justice," he said.
As regards to complaints of excessive use of force by police, the spokesman said the Hong Kong police force takes a serious view of any allegation of excessive use of force by police officers.
"All such complaints are investigated thoroughly by the Complaints Against Police Office and any investigations of which the results are 'withdrawn' or 'not pursuable' are subject to close scrutiny by the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) before they are endorsed," he said. The spokesman said that the government was committed to tackling domestic violence.
On the participation of women in government and political life, he said women made up one-third of the civil service and comprised about 24 percent of directorate staff.
Stating that the government is fully committed to the protection of human rights, the spokesman said, "Human rights are well protected in the Basic Law - our mini-constitution, the Bill of Rights Ordinance and various local laws."