China tells US to stop acting as rights guardian
China urges US to reflect on its own human rights problem instead of poking into other countries’ internal affairs by publishing human rights reports.BEIJING – China told the United States on Thursday to stop acting as a human rights guardian, after Washington accused Beijing of a worsening rights record.
"We urge the US side to reflect on its own human rights problems, to stop acting as human rights guardian," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters.
Ma was reacting to a US State Department report released on Wednesday charging that the attitude of Beijing's communist rulers to human rights worsened in 2008.
The report said China had stepped up repression in Buddhist Tibet and Muslim Xinjiang, restricting dissent and religious freedom in the two western regions.
"The government's human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas," it said.
Ma defended China's record and hit out at the United States, saying it should stop interfering in other countries' internal affairs by publishing such human rights reports.
"In the past three decades, China has enjoyed sustained economic growth and made constant progress in democracy... and fully protects religious freedom," he said.
"Various ethnic groups enjoy extensive rights and freedom. This is widely witnessed in the world."
The report came shortly after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Beijing and said rights concerns should not be allowed to hinder cooperation between the two countries on issues such as economic cooperation.
That stance won praise in Beijing, with the state-run media describing her attitude as a relief and China's foreign ministry saying her visit had helped to build mutual understanding.
China's state media also criticised the US report, describing the charges as groundless and irresponsible.
"It wilfully ignored and distorted basic facts, groundlessly assailing China's human rights conditions and making random and irresponsible remarks on China's ethnic, religious and legal systems," the Xinhua news agency said.
AFP / Expatica