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By Li Xiaokun and Zhao Shengnan ( China Daily)
Harsh criticism of Beijing caters to needs of election, expert says
Beijing on Friday swiftly hit back at Washington's annual report on China's human rights, saying in a report that the US government's crackdown on protesters in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration is the real illustration of American democracy.
In the report, Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011, the State Council Information Office demanded the US stop its double standards.
Beijing issued the report less than 24 hours after the release of the Washington report, which Chinese experts said used harsher wording than previous editions and reflected US double standards that meet political needs in an election year.
It was the 13th annual report China has published in response to US attacks.
The US report "turned a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation and remained silent about it", China's report said.
The Chinese report states that violations of civil and political rights have been "severe" in the US.
It cited the treatment of protesters participating in the Occupy Wall Street movement, stating that their arrests can provide a "glimpse of the truth regarding the United States' so-called freedom and democracy".
The US State Department started to present its annual human reports in the 1970s, with China long being a key object of attention.
In its 142-page report on China, Washington slammed Beijing for continued "deterioration" in key aspects of its human rights in 2011.
Double standards are the major characteristic of the US report, said Liu Feitao, an expert on American studies with the China Institute of International Studies.
"Washington adopts a totally different standard to the Occupy Wall Street movement and the protests asking for reform in other countries, which bear no difference in nature," he said.
In a US presidential election year, the Washington report reflected some hawkish politicians' efforts to contain China, said Li Haidong, a professor of international studies at China Foreign Affairs University.
The US report blamed Beijing for the immolations of monks in Tibetan-inhabited regions on "political restrictions and lack of religious freedom". China said the self-immolations were politically motivated, as they were part of the Dalai Lama clique's scheme to internationalize the so-called Tibet issue.
Commenting on the human rights in nearly 200 countries, the US report claimed that "overall human rights conditions remained extremely poor" in countries including Iran, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Syria, Belarus and China.
The US report "maligns other countries, and the content concerning China ignores the facts and is filled with prejudice, confusing black and white", Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Friday.
"China's human rights endeavors have made achievements that are plain for all the world to see", Hong said.
Countries could exchange views and lessons on human rights through "dialogue on an equal footing", Hong said. "These issues should by no means be used as tools to meddle in the affairs of other countries."
The People's Daily said in an editorial on Friday that the US report reflected its alert against a rising China and its restlessness behind the incapability of blocking the rise.
The emotions came as China's development path has radically rocked the base of the development theory of Western society in which Washington takes a dominant position, the article said.
US criticism of China's human rights this year is much harsher than before, but China has made concrete progress in its legal system and actions in that regard, said Chang Jian, an expert at Nankai University's human rights research center.
China published its first working plan on human rights in 2009, Chang said.
This action made China one of the 26 countries since 1993 that have responded to the United Nations call to establish national human rights plans.
"All people pursue human rights, but the ways of realizing them are different from country to country. The US cannot popularize its human rights model to any other country with different conditions," he said.
The US style has even failed to guarantee its people's employment rights amid the global recession, Chang said. "More and more US citizens are questioning the political system controlled by a few giant enterprises," he said.