US human rights tactics running dry

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-1 0:23:01

The US government issued its annual global human rights report Thursday. The China section of the report, as usual, accuses the Chinese government of tightening restrictions on freedom and repressing ethnic Tibetans and Uyghurs.

The Chinese State Council also issued a 2013 US human rights report on Friday, pointing out the increase of violent crimes in the US, the torture of prisoners and the notorious PRISM project that "seriously infringes on human rights."

 The human rights spat between China and the US is an interesting annual drama. The US appears to be winning some points, but China's response also has its value.

Situations regarding human rights worldwide are often over-simplified. It is basically the sum of Western values, with Washington looking down on the rest of the world. China's report on the human rights situation in the US has provided a new angle for developing countries.

"Human rights" is a relative concept. There are only "better" human rights records, not perfect ones. China and the US both have their own human rights problems. The two countries should pay more attention to improving their own situations instead of judging the other side.

The human rights problems in China and the US are results of their own social development, which are difficult to compare out of context. But we have to admit a few basic facts: The current US human rights situation is better than China's, China's human rights situation has been improving quickly, both countries have their shortcomings, and Beijing is definitely more concerned than Washington about the human rights of the Chinese public.

History shows that the US tends to use human rights record as a tool to oppress competitors. Apparently, the latter applies to China. The US is trying to smear the face of China on the international stage, as well as encouraging discontent about China's political situation inside the country.

The US tactic has increasingly been losing its appeal. Mainstream Chinese society is clear about the country's human rights situation. The accusations from the US are often based on incomplete descriptions or partial criticism from a few dissidents, which do not reflect the whole picture.

The separatist and terrorist activities in China's Xinjiang and Tibet regions are often seen as human rights issues in the US reports, which only draw resentment from the Chinese people.

If the Americans believe they have won the finger-pointing battle because some Chinese people echoed their report, they are wrong. They should examine what the majority of people are thinking about.

Posted in: Editorial

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