The US's human rights record is "notorious" and Washington has no legitimacy to play the role of the "world's judge for human rights," China said in a report issued Friday in Beijing, a day after the US government issued its 36th annual report on other countries.
The US report was "full of overly critical remarks on human rights conditions in nearly 200 countries" and distorted the state of human rights in China, said the "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011" released by the Information Office of the State Council.
The paper also accused Washington of "turning a blind eye to its own woeful human rights situation."
"The US report concerning China ignores the facts, is full of prejudice and confuses black and white," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters in Beijing.
Countries can discuss the issue of human rights through dialogue to increase mutual understanding, but should never use it as a tool to interfere with internal affairs of other countries, Hong said.
The annual Chinese report, now in its 13th year, examined six areas - life, property and personal security, civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, racial discrimination, the rights of women and children and US violations of human rights in other countries - to reveal the "true human rights situation of the US." It also urged the US to "stop using double standards for human rights" to "tarnish other countries' image and promote hegemony."
The paper found the US can effectively control violence and crimes with strong manpower, finance and material resources, however said that it struggled to properly guarantee life, property and security of citizens.
"The facts contained in the report are a small yet illustrative fraction of the US's dismal record on its human rights situation," the report said.
"The tarnished human rights record of the US puts it in no condition, on moral, political or legal grounds, to act as the world's judge for human rights," it added.
The US State Department issued a report on Thursday, accusing China of being "an authoritarian state" with its human rights situation seeing continuing "deterioration."
"Repression and coercion, particularly against organizations and individuals involved in rights advocacy and public interest issues, were routine," the 142-page US report of China said, citing enforced disappearance, house arrests and Internet restrictions. The internal disciplinary procedures of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were "opaque," the US report said, stressing that corruption remained "widespread."
"It's disappointing that the US turned a blind eye to the progress China has made and instead only recorded the negative side of the country," Zhang Xiaoling, director of the Human Rights Studies Center at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, told the Global Times on Friday.
"During the social structural transition amid a developing stage, some social problems are prominent. However, China indeed has made remarkable progress in recent years, especially in improving people's livelihoods, alleviating poverty and improving the judicial system," Zhang said, citing the abolishment of the death penalty for 13 crimes and prohibition of forced self-incrimination.
"The US report's basic tone was almost the same as previous ones. The US government knows itself that the report's influence is limited and other countries actually care little about it," said Zhou Wei, a professor of law at Sichuan University.
"The people who should have a say on evaluating the human rights situation in China are the majority of people who live in the country, not a handful of people who may have never been to China," Zhou said, noting that so many foreigners wouldn't live and work in China if the situation was as dire as the report claimed.
"There is no need to be shocked or angry about the US report's take on China. Differences on human rights have been a minor issue affecting Sino-US relations," said Niu Xinchun, a researcher from the Institute of American Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.