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US 'turns blind eye to human rights'

By Cheng Guangjin and Pu Zhendong (China Daily)

21:59, April 22, 2013

China slammed the human rights record of the United States on Sunday in response to a Washington report, saying the US turned a blind eye to its own woeful situation while posing as "the world judge of human rights".

In Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012, released by the Information Office of China's State Council, China argued that there are serious human rights problems in the US that are widely criticized throughout the world.

Human rights have long been a source of tension between the world's two largest economies. China has been hitting back at US criticism by issuing reports on the US human rights record since 2000. The US State Department issued Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012 on Friday.

"As in previous years, the reports are full of carping and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China," China's report says.

Analysts said the reports issued by the US take a negative attitude toward other countries' human rights situation, which is far from objective.

"The US has been using the human rights issue as a tool to bash other countries, which will affect the development of the human rights around the world," said Chang Jian, executive deputy director of Center for Human Rights Studies at Nankai University in Tianjin, in an interview with People's Daily Online.

"This is the American way of seizing discourse, trying to sell the US human rights concepts globally," Chang said.

Liu Huawen, secretary-general of the Center for Human Rights Studies of the China Academy of Social Sciences, said it is necessary to make a timely and proper response to the US human rights reports and the country's hypocritical human rights diplomacy.

These reports "write off other countries' efforts at improving human rights, hurt their national images and people's feelings," said Liu, adding that China has been calling for dialogue and cooperation to improve understanding in human rights issues in the world.

Experts also said that Washington, before criticizing other countries, should have reflected on its own human rights status, which shows many worrying aspects.

"For a long time, the US has favored civil and political rights, and overlooked social and economic rights," Liu said. "But human rights are an organic whole, including economic, social and cultural rights, based on the interpretation and advocacy of the United Nations.

"The Occupy Wall Street movement and the fact that the US has not yet ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights show Washington's obvious weakness in protecting the disadvantaged groups of its own nation."

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