In what can only be described as a stunning deterioration in foreign relations between the world's two superpowers, following Friday's release by the US State Department of the annual report on human rights, which expressed sharp criticism of the human rights records of China, North Korea, Cuba and Belarus, among others, China decided it has had enough. Less than 48 hours later, it has lashed back at the US with a report that is making headlines at every government controlled, and otherwise, media in mainland China, which makes a mockery of the US double standard when it comes to human rights, and exposes US "hypocrisy" which China (rightly many would claim) asserts is merely a pretext for continued US attempts at world "hegemony". As Xinhua reports on its front page, "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010 was
released by the Information Office of China's State Council, or
cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
for 2010 issued by the U.S. Department of State on April. The U.S. reports are "full of distortions and
accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and
regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye
to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it,"
China's report said." The war of words hits a new all time record: "The United States has taken human rights as "a political instrument to defame other nations' image and seek its own strategic interests," the report said. While illustrating a dismal record of the United States on its own human rights, China's report said the United States could not be justified to pose as the world's "human rights justice." "However, it released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices year after year to accuse and blame other countries for their human rights practices," the report said. These moves fully expose the United States' hypocrisy by exercising double standards on human rights and its malicious design to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights, it said. The report advised the U.S. government to "take concrete actions to improve its own human rights conditions, check and rectify its acts in the human rights field, and stop the hegemonistic deeds of using human rights issues to interfere in other countries' internal affairs." While that last sentence may not be an explicit warning for the US to shut the hell up and focus on its own dirty laundry, or else, it sure does sound like one.
VIOLATION OF CITIZENS' RIGHTS
In the United States, the violation of citizens' civil and political rights by the government is severe, said the report.
Citizen's privacy has been undermined. More than 6,600 travelers had been subject to electronic device searches between October 1, 2008 and June 2, 2010, nearly half of them American citizens, said the report, citing figures released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in September 2010.
The report said abuse of violence and torturing suspects to get confession is serious in the U.S. law enforcement, and "wrongful conviction occurred quite often."
While advocating Internet freedom, the U.S. in fact imposes fairly strict restriction on cyberspace, said the report.
The United States applies double standards on Internet freedom by requesting unrestricted "Internet freedom" in other countries, which becomes an important diplomatic tool for the U.S. to impose pressure and seek hegemony, and imposing strict restriction within its own territory, the report said.
The U.S. regards itself as "the beacon of democracy." However, its democracy is largely based on money, the report said.
According to media report in 2010, U.S. House and Senate candidates shattered fundraising records for a midterm election, taking in more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars as of October 24. The midterm election, held in November 2010, finally cost 3.98 billion U.S. dollars, the most expensive in the U.S. history.
HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF VIOLENT CRIMES
One out of every five people is a victim of a crime in the United States every year, said the report.
The United States reports the world' s highest incidence of violent crimes, and its people's lives, properties and personal security are not duly protected, the report said.
In 2009, an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes, 15.6 million property crimes and 133,000 personal thefts were committed against U.S. residents aged 12 or older, and the violent crime rate was 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons, said the report, quoting figures from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The United States also ranks first in the world in terms of the number of privately-owned guns and had high incidence of gun-related crimes, said the report, noting that the United States exercised lax control on the already rampant gun ownership.
Some 90 million people own an estimated 200 million guns in the United States, which has a population of about 300 million, the report said citing figures from the public media.
Statistics showed there were 12,000 gun murders a year in the United States, the report said.
The report also said that the frequent campus shootings in colleges in the United States came to the spotlight in recent years.
RACIAL DISCRIMINATION DEEP-SEATED
"Racial discrimination, deep-seated in the United States, has permeated every aspect of social life," said the report.
Minority groups confront discrimination in their employment and occupation. The black people are treated unfairly or excluded in promotion, welfare and employment, the report quoted U.S media reports as saying.
It is reported that one-third of black people confronted discrimination at work, against which only one-sixteenth of the black people would lodge a complaint.
The New York Times reported on September 23, 2010 that by the end of September 30, 2009, Muslim workers had filed a record 803 claims of complaints over employment discrimination, up 20 percent from the previous year.
The report said U.S. minority groups have high unemployment rate, and do not enjoy the same political status as white people.
Poverty proportion for U.S. minorities is high in the United States. The poverty proportion of the black was 25.8 percent in 2009, and those of Hispanic origin and Asian were 25.3 percent and 12.5 percent respectively, much higher than that of the non-Hispanic white at 9.4 percent, said the report, citing U.S. media figures.
The report also said that U.S. minority groups face obvious inequality in education, and the health care for African-American people is worrisome.
Racial discrimination is evident in the law enforcement and judicial systems, racial hate crimes are frequent, and immigrants' rights and interests are not guaranteed, said the report.
RIGHTS OF WOMEN, CHILDREN IS BOTHERING
Gender discrimination against women widely exists in the United States, and women in the country often experience sexual assault and violence.
Statistics showed that some 20 million women are rape victims in the country, some one fifth female students on campus are victims of sexual assault, and nearly 3,000 female soldiers were sexually assaulted in fiscal year 2008, up nine percent from the year before.
Women are also victims of domestic violence in the United States, said the report, as some 1.3 million people fall victim to domestic violence every year, with women accounting for 92 percent.
Many children in the U.S. live in poverty and their physical and mental health is not ensured as nearly one in four children struggles with hunger, according to the report.
The report also pointed out that violence against children is very severe in the country, citing figures from the official website of Love Our Children USA that every year, over three million children are victims of violence reportedly and the actual number is three times greater.
More than 93,000 children are currently incarcerated in the United States, and between 75 and 93 percent of children have experienced at least one traumatic experience, including sexual abuse and neglect, the report said.
According to the report, pornographic content is rampant on the Internet and severely harms American children as seven in 10 children have accidentally accessed pornography on the Internet and one in three has done so intentionally.
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
The United States has a notorious record of international human rights violations, said the report.
The U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused huge civilian casualties.
Figures from the WikiLeaks website revealed up to 285,000 war casualties in Iraq from March 2003 through the end of 2009, with 63 percent of the 109,000 people killed in the Iraq war being civilians.
"The U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and other regions have also brought tremendous casualties to local people," said the report.
The report cited the notorious case on a "kill team" formed by five soldiers from the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The team had committed at least three murders, where they randomly targeted and killed Afghan civilians, and dismembered the corpses and hoarded the human bones.
In addition, the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops had caused 535 Afghan civilian deaths and injuries in 2009. Among them 113 civilians were shot and killed, an increase of 43 percent over 2008, the report quoted McClatchy Newspapers as saying.
PRISONER ABUSE SCANDALS
The United States have been holding individuals captured under the pretext of the "war on terror" and abusing detainees with various methods, according to the report.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) established secret detention facilities to interrogate so-called "high-value detainees," said the report, citing a document submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council in May 2010.
According to the document, the CIA had taken custody of 94 detainees, and had employed "enhanced techniques" to varying degrees, including stress positions, extreme temperature changes, sleep deprivation and "waterboarding" in the interrogation of 28 of those detainees.
Full, unabridged report can and should be read here.