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China hits back at US over 'woeful' rights record
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 21, 2013


China on Sunday accused the United States of human rights violations through military operations abroad and failing to protect its own citizens from gun violence, in a rejoinder to a US rights report.

The report, released by China's cabinet, the State Council, said Washington has "turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation", despite styling itself as "the world judge of human rights".

China -- which officially includes rising living standards in its definition of human rights -- released the report in response to a US report published on Friday that said China's rights record has worsened over the past year.

The US report highlighted a Chinese crackdown on ethnic minorities, including Tibetans, the detention of political dissidents, as well as the widespread surveillance of citizens by a huge domestic security apparatus.

China responded by blasting US surveillance of its own citizens, and said that political donations have damaged the country's democracy.

China's report, culled from a variety of sources, including US media, also accused US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan of causing "massive civilian casualties".

The report cited "astonishing" casualties that resulted from mass shootings at a movie theatre in the state of Colorado in July and at an elementary school in Connecticut in December.

"Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world per capita," the report said. It added that the United States had "serious" issues with discrimination of a sexual, racial and religious nature.

"Non-whites do not enjoy equal political, economic and social rights," the report said, claiming that "ethnic Americans are discriminated against in the job market".

The exchange of critical reports between the two nations on human rights has become an annual tradition, while relations between the world's two largest economies remain strained over issues including cyber-hacking and North Korea.

A copy of the report was published by China's official news agency Xinhua.

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