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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Friday, February 27, 2004

China Respond to Human Rights Allegations

Reuters | Breaking News from Around the Globe

China FlagVery predictably China has responded quickly to the release of the U.S. State Departments 2003 Human Rights Report in which it accused the Chinese Government of "backsliding" on human rights during 2003 after positive trends in 2002.

According to a Reuters report (see link) China has responded by criticising the United States Human Rights Report but significantly stopped short of warning of a setback in ties with Washington.

"China wants to express its strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said of the annual U.S. report on human rights around the world, branding its criticism of China as being "without reason".

"We hope the United States can treat China's progress and achievements on human rights objectively and correctly, and correct its mistaken submission of such reports."

To add further pressure on the Chinese government US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Lorne Craner told reporters the United States was heading in the direction of a U.N. resolution on China's rights record.

Earlier in the month, China told the United States to "think three times" about introducing a resolution at this year's session of the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Commission, which begins its six-week meeting on March 16.

In the past the US has been fairly scathing in it's criticism of China's Human Rights record however with the events of "9/11" and the subsequent moves in Afghanistan and Iraq the Bush Administration had drastically scaled back it's criticism in an attempt to garner Chinese support for it's initiatives in the "War On Terror".

The Uygur being a Muslim people have been particularly ignored during this period as US elected officials, seeing little political capital in supporting Muslims, have virtually ceased any open support.

It will be of interest now to see if the US will follow through by introducing the resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Commission in March

I have said it before and I will say it ad nauseum that with the Beijing Olympics around the corner and China's rush to fully join the world economy that there has never been better times to achieve change within China as it concerns Human Rights. All it needs is the political will of the western "free" world