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29 May, 2012

Human Rights: China Hits Back At “Uncle Sam’s Hypocrisy”

China Daily Commentary

BEIJING, May 28 (Xinhuanet) — In response to the United States’ biased annual country reports on human rights practices released on Thursday, China’s Information Office of the State Council issued its own report on Friday revealing the true human rights situation in the US.

The report, titled the “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011”, provides a timely and useful lens for the rest of the world to see the double standards the US uses, and draws attention to the human rights problems in the superpower’s own backyard.

Citing well-documented data and ample evidence, the report points out that violations of civil and political rights are “severe” in the US. The country is lying to itself when it proclaims itself the “land of the free”.

Through the Occupy Wall Street movement, everyone knows the social inequalities American people have to face on their own soil.

And the world is no stranger to the US human rights violations and infringements beyond its own backyard. In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, US soldiers have committed all kinds of crimes against civilians, war prisoners and even the dead.

Obviously, before throwing mud at others, the world’s self-proclaimed champion of human rights should address these issues first and take steps to improve its own human rights conditions. Yet, in a jaw-dropping act of hypocrisy, Uncle Sam remains tight-lipped about its own human rights problems and prefers instead to point an accusing finger at other countries.

By claiming the moral high ground in this way, the US uses human rights as another weapon in its arsenal. No wonder it is always those countries that the US sees as a potential threat to its dominance over world affairs that receive the severest criticism.

The US’ practice of setting itself up as judge and jury of other countries’ human rights conditions is both inappropriate and unacceptable. Preaching to the rest of the world in such a condescending manner only lays bare Uncle Sam’s arrogance and disrespect for others.

The civil and political rights in a country are largely determined by its development stage. For developing countries, their top priorities are lifting people out of poverty and improving people’s standard of living.

It is, therefore, only natural for countries to have different views on how to improve human rights. The best way to handle those differences is through dialogue on an equal footing.