Beijing’s annual chronicling of alleged human rights abuses in the US focuses on political system and treatment of minorities
By Tom Phillips in Beijing / The Guardian / Thursday 9 March 2017 21.15 EST
The US election was “full of lies” and a farce that exposed the “hypocritical nature” of its democracy, one-party China has claimed in its annual inquiry into the human rights record of its geopolitical rival.
Each year the state council information office, the propaganda wing of China’s cabinet, publishes a summary of alleged US human rights abuses as a means of hitting back against Washington’s criticism of Beijing’s own record.
This year’s report, which is almost entirely based on reports by news groups whose coverage of Chinese human rights violations Beijing routinely attacks or blocks, paints a wretched portrait of the US political system.
“In 2016, money politics and power-for-money deals had controlled the presidential election, which was full of lies and farces,” its introduction says. “There were no guarantees of political rights, while the public responded with waves of boycott and protests, giving full exposure of the hypocritical nature of US democracy.”
China’s report lays a raft of accusations at the gates to the White House, accusing the US of posing as an international “judge of human rights” while simultaneously committing abuses at home and abroad.
“Wielding ‘the baton of human rights’, [the US] pointed fingers and cast blame on the human rights situation in many countries while paying no attention to its own terrible human rights problems,” it says.
The report’s authors decry a widening income gap, deteriorating race relations, the repeated shooting of black Americans by white police and America’s “worrisome” treatment of children, women and the elderly.
“With the gunshots lingering in people’s ears behind the Statue of Liberty, worsening racial discrimination and the election farce dominated by money politics, the self-proclaimed human rights defender has exposed its human rights ‘myth’ with its own deeds,” it says.
The inquiry hones in on what it describes as America’s spiralling crime rate, citing Donald Trump’s inaccurate claim that “crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse” in a section lamenting the continuous infringement of civil rights in the US.
Finally, China’s report castigates US foreign policy, accusing Washington of continuing ”to trample on human rights in other countries, causing tremendous civilian casualties” in places such as Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Allegations of internet snooping “drew vast criticism from the international community”.
Beijing’s inquiry claims it findings are built on “concrete facts”, nearly all of which have been extracted from stories published by international news organisations groups such as the BBC, CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Guardian.
In spite of this, the Chinese report finds space to bemoan the poor quality of journalism being produced by such outlets.
During last year’s historic election the US media “published a lot of biased reports and commentaries … fully demonstrating their failure in staying objective or impartial”, it claimed.