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China hits back at 'prejudiced' U.S. with own rights criticism

17 March 2019

"Although it is speculative it seems appropriate to estimate that up to 1.5 million ethnic minorities - equivalent to just under one in six adult members of a predominantly Muslim minority group in Xinjiang - are or have been interned in any of these detention, internment and re-education facilities, excluding formal prisons", Zenz said at an event on Wednesday organized by the USA mission in Geneva, home of United Nations human rights bodies. "The government also is increasing its persecution against Christians, Tibetans and anyone who espouses different views from those or advocates of those of government or advocates change in government", Pompeo alleged.

China, often seen as the main strategic adversary of the United States in the long term and locked in thorny trade talks with Washington, "is in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations", he said.

It is a basic principle upheld by China to fight terrorism according to law, protect human rights, forbid discrimination and address both the symptoms and root cause of terrorism, Li said.

"Today, more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslims are interred in reeducation camps created to erase their religious and ethnic identities", Business Insider quotes Pompeo.

"We also advise that the United States take a hard look at its own domestic human rights record, and first take care of its own affairs", he said.

Tehran was also cited for contributing to rights abuses in Syria through its support for President Bashar al-Assad, and in Yemen for backing the Houthi rebels battling for control of the country.

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As for Iran, U.S. President Donald Trump's favorite bete noire, Pompeo alleged that previous year, "the regime killed over 20 people and arrested thousands without due process just for protesting for their rights".

It cites Pyongyang for "unlawful or arbitrary killings by the government" along with "forced disappearances" and "torture by authorities".

He then mentioned South Sudan, whose military forces have used sexual violence against civilians based on their political allegiances and ethnicity, and Nicaragua, where civilians were met with sniper fire for peacefully protesting over social security benefits, and critics of the government "faced a policy of exile, jail, or death".

Pompeo acknowledged that despite extreme abuses in many countries, Washington would work with them if needed.

Pompeo assailed Nicaragua for the government's use of snipers and live ammunition to repress protests that the report says left "at least 325 persons dead and more than 2,000 injured" past year.

China fully safeguards human rights and China has made many achievements in this regard, he added.

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Pompeo listed China alongside Iran and Nicaragua in his opening statement as the current worst global abusers of human rights.

China responded to new USA allegations of widespread human rights abuses with its own accusations of prejudice and interference, saying Thursday that Washington should drop its "Cold War mentality" and stop interfering in China's internal affairs.

A separate section on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, areas that Israel captured along with the Golan Heights in a 1967 war in the Middle East, also did not refer to those territories as being "occupied", or under "occupation".

But the State Department insisted Wednesday that calling Golan "Israeli-controlled" instead of "Israeli-occupied" was not a policy shift in Israel's favour.

China routinely rejects criticism of its human rights record and has pointed to its success at lifting millions out of poverty, and that nobody has the right to criticise its model of government. Rarely has that reality been laid out in such stark terms - particularly in the opening pages of a report meant to underscore the US commitment to those freedoms.

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China hits back at 'prejudiced' U.S. with own rights criticism