CHINA / DIPLOMACY
China issues annual US human rights report amid escalating Washington-led West's attacks on Beijing
Published: Mar 24, 2021 04:03 PM
Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT


China published its annual US human rights situation report on Wednesday at a time when the US-led ideological battle against China has intensified lately over mainly Xinjiang and other domestic issues. By highlighting the COVID-19 turning into a humanitarian tragedy, disorder in American democracy being vividly reflected in the Capitol riots, and recent growing discrimination against ethnic minorities, China slammed the US' terrible human rights record, which made its remarks on other countries' human rights situation "hypocrisy and double standards."

In seven major chapters, the 15,000-word report started with a well-known quote "I can't breathe!" by George Floyd, an African American who died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck, sparking a national outcry. However, the most striking deterioration in the human rights situation in the US was its failure of governance in handling the COVID-19 epidemic, the report said. 

By the end of February 2021, the US, home to less than 5 percent of the world's population, accounted for more than a quarter of the world's confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly one-fifth of global deaths from the disease. More than 500,000 Americans lost their lives due to the virus.  

China usually issues the annual report on US human rights situation in response to the US' annual reports on human rights practices issued by the US Department of State every year. But this year, in an increasingly complex geopolitical environment, the Chinese government took the initiative in issuing the report first. 

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT


Rather than focusing only on some longstanding human rights issues including worsening gun violence, elections becoming a money game for the rich, the widening gap between rich and poor and a striking racial gap, as in previous annual reports issued by China, the latest report focused on the COVID-19 epidemic that has become a human tragedy due to the failed governance of US politicians, amplifying the disorder in American democracy. 

The report also pointed out that there were a record number of gun shootings while American people's confidence in social order waned in 2020. 

Just on Monday, a new shooting incident took place in Colorado, causing the deaths of at least 10 people, even as the Atlanta shootings - with eight deaths - were still haunting the nation.

Americans bought 23 million guns in 2020 against the backdrop of an out-of-control epidemic, accompanied by racial justice protests and election-related conflicts, a surge of 64 percent from 2019, according to the report. 

Graphic: GT

Graphic: GT


The report also came out in the midst of an intensive US-led sanctions war against China on human rights, as Washington ganged up with its allies including the European Union, the UK and Canada in imposing punitive measures on Beijing over with the pretext of so-called human rights abuses in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In response to such reckless and unilateral actions, China responded with firm countermeasures, slamming those individuals and entities that have spread rumors and lies about Xinjiang. 

As the battle between China and US-led allies on human rights issues has become more intensive recently, China also fully demonstrated its own interpretation of the human rights issue by issuing a joint statement with Russia on Tuesday, denouncing the politicization of human rights issue while using the issue as a tool to interfere in other countries' internal affairs and playing out double standards. 

Some observers considered that a major reason behind the serious turmoil and even fragmentation of the current international system was that Washington, along with its major allies, have defined human rights and democracy with a set of values that can be used as leverage to consolidate Western hegemony with the US as its center. They also use this tactic in impacting the governance of developing countries like China, and the US even attacks these countries as part of their strategic games. 

As China is taking more initiative in demonstrating a shared consensus with more countries other than the US and its allies on this question, which has become a major point in the geopolitical battle today, some observers called for human rights to be redefined instead of following the US-led West hegemony. 


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