China accused the United States of destabilizing the world economy and meddling in other countries’ affairs on Friday - its response to Washington’s annual review of Beijing’s human rights record.
The U.S. State Department report issued on Thursday accused Beijing of abusing its citizens’ rights and maintaining currency policies that cost millions of U.S. jobs.
In response, China’s State Council, or Cabinet, accused Washington of using human rights as a “political instrument” to defame other countries and took aim at the United States’ contribution in fomenting the global financial crisis.
“At a time when the world is suffering a serious human rights disaster caused by the U.S. subprime crisis—induced global financial crisis, the U.S. government still ignores its own serious human rights problems but revels in accusing other countries. It is really a pity,” said a report issued by the council’s information office.
The Chinese response touched on America’s gun crime and prison population, and alleged rising problems with crime, poverty, homelessness and “chronic” racial discrimination. It called U.S. college campuses unsafe and said spying on U.S. citizens by their government had reached unprecedented levels.
The nearly 10,000—word report accused Washington of using both military force and cultural and economic infiltration to dominate global affairs and interfere, singling out civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The United States with its strong military power has pursued hegemony in the world, trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and trespassing their human rights,” the report said.
“The United States monopolizes the strategic resources of the global Internet, and has been retaining a tight grip over the Internet ever since its first appearance,” it added.
The report repeated a recent accusation that U.S. calls for China and other nations to lift tight controls on Internet content were merely part of a campaign to establish U.S. cultural domination. The claim first surfaced earlier this year amid a dispute with Google Inc. over censorship and hacking accusations.
As is routine, it offered sweeping statements that often mirrored charges in the U.S. report.
“In the United States, civil and political rights of citizens are severely restricted and violated by the government,” read one statement. “Workers’ rights were seriously violated,” said another.
While the U.S. report is drawn largely from the work of rights groups and American diplomats, China’s response mainly cited U.S. media reports as evidence of its claims, along with data from non—governmental organizations and federal and state governments.
The pattern of the duelling reports has lasted 11 years, although this year’s follows a period of heightened friction over issues including Taiwan, Tibet and trade. The administration of President Barack Obama seems increasingly willing to confront China, after a year in which a lighter approach to Beijing yielded few gains.
As in past years, China’s report accused Washington of criticizing others while turning a blind eye to its own problems, ignoring the numerous reviews of domestic rights issued by the administration and Congress, as well as the work of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union.