BEIJING, APR 10 : China has urged the US to stop interfering in its internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues. The comment came after the US criticised China in its latest report on the status of human rights around the world.
“China and the US have disagreements on human rights issues, about which we are willing to engage in dialogues based on equality and mutual respect,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Saturday.
“But we are firmly against interfering in our internal affairs under the pretext of human rights issues,” Hong said. He added that China enjoys extensive freedom and rights.
His comment came after the US State Department Friday released its 2010 report on the status of human rights around the world.
The spokesman urged the US to reflect more on its own human rights issues rather than acting as a “preacher of human rights”. “The US should stop interfering in other country’s internal affairs with human rights report,” China Daily quoted Hong as saying. The report highlights ‘positive’ trends, but also suggests “China is spearheading trends in global repression”, the Christian Science Monitor said. China in particular is cited as a country where officials are spearheading trends in global repression such as cracking down on activists, limiting internet access and repressing minorities, it said. While releasing the report card of more than 190 countries, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said respecting human rights leads to more stable and prosperous societies.
“Societies flourish when they address human-rights problems instead of suppressing them,” the Monitor quoted her as saying. “Freedom from fear makes economies grow as citizens invest, innovate, and participate,” she said.
“In recent months, we have been particularly inspired by the courage and determination of the activists in the Middle East and North Africa, and in other repressive societies who have demanded peaceful democratic change and respect for their individual human rights,” Clinton said.
Critics, however, say the US overlooks the very rights it advocates when dealing with some countries, in particular those that pose a particular national security interest. Two recent examples are Yemen and Bahrain: Yemen because of concerns about the presence of Al Qaeda and Bahrain because of the stationing there of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, the Monitor noted.
Global rights organization Amnesty International Friday welcomed the release of the report and said the US should consider it as a “road map” for “reforming” relations with governments in the Middle East and North Africa.