China hits back at USA over human rights violations

China in a ‘league of its own’ when it comes to human rights abuses says United States

Eloisa Lopez AFP | A file

"It's just remarkably very bad". If one takes a glimpse into the human rights situation of the United States in 2018, it will not be hard to find that the United States government, a self-styled "human rights defender", has a human rights record which is flawed and lackluster, and the double standards of human rights it pursues are obvious.

China has hit back in unusually strong terms after the USA state department singled out Beijing's human rights record. China said they are vocational training centres aimed at de-radicalisation. Kang argued that his nation's human rights situation had "never been better" and urged Washington to "stop interfering in China's internal affairs with human rights as a pretext".

Xinjiang Governor Shohrat Zakir said on Tuesday that China was running boarding schools, not concentration camps, in the country's far western region as the USA ambassador for religious freedom called the situation there "completely unacceptable" and said sanctions against Chinese officials under the Global Magnitsky Act remained a "possibility".

USA officials have said the Trump administration was considering sanctions targeting companies and officials linked to China's crackdown, including Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who, as a member of the powerful politburo, is in the upper echelons of China's leadership.

Beijing and Washington have been embroiled in a trade dispute since last June, when US President Donald Trump announced the United States would subject $50 billion worth of Chinese goods to a 25 percent tariff in an effort to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit.

The State Department report said Chen had replicated in Xinjiang policies similar to those credited with reducing opposition to Communist Party rule in Tibet, where he was previously stationed. Several reports have suggested that the Uyghur community is being discriminated against and about two million people have been forced into "political camps for indoctrination" in the region. The Iranian government past year killed more than 20 people and illegally arrested thousands for protesting for their rights, he said.

In its summary, the State Department said China over the past year "significantly intensified" its campaign of mass detentions, with between 800,000 and 2 million members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region interned in camps "designed to erase religious and ethnic identities". The report also strongly criticized Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, all of which are adversaries of the U.S. China, as it did here, has typically responded to the yearly American report by pointing to human rights violations in the U.S.

A separate section on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas that Israel captured along with the Golan Heights in a 1967 Middle East war, also did not refer to those territories as being "occupied" or under "occupation".

"Press freedom has come under unprecedented attack", it said, pointing to cases of reporters in the USA being arrested and prevented from doing their jobs.

Meanwhile, Pompeo's own stance against evil in the world was undercut by the preface to the report, in which he writes: "The policy of this administration is to engage with other governments, regardless of their record, if doing so will further U.S. interests".

The State Department report highlighted Saudi Arabia's killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said it had not provided a detailed explanation of the direction or progress of the investigation.

The administration of US President Donald Trump chose to slam the door on that council past year. It said it did not know how many children were affected.

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