China denounces U.S. in response to annual State Department’s report on human rights, while Christian persecution monitors disagree.
"That is a typical reaction," says Bob Fu, China Aid Association president. "First of all, to bring up…Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, doesn't excuse China from human right's violation."
Persecution monitor groups say that they are not surprised by China’s response, after having observed the country’s policy on religious freedom and human rights for the past few years.
The response – reportedly based on stories and statistics from U.S. media – maintains that American often discriminates against blacks, and cites prisoner torture and detention at Abu Ghraib prison, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
This is "an act that fully exposes its hypocrisy and double standard on human rights issues," the Chinese report says.
Fu commented that the United States government often admits to its past mistakes, and that those who perpetrated the atrocities in the Middle East have been prosecuted.
"The U.S. admitted to these things and is correcting them. [But] China is violating human rights and not taking corrective action. They are just going though denial," Fu said.
China is amongst the nations that have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Fu adds. “The Chinese government has to take concrete measures to meet the standards on human rights, and they [must] honor what they signed on human rights.”
In its report, released Wednesday, the State Department said that China’s human rights record "remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses."
The U.S. report added that the Chinese government is moving toward censoring broadcast, electronic media and online-content, as well as subjecting its citizens to "increased harassment, detention, and imprisonment."
Qin Gang – a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman – denied these claims to AP, saying that China’s human rights development has "not only met with the satisfaction of the Chinese people but also has been widely affirmed by the international community."
"The Chinese government would like us to think that there is religious freedom, when that is not the reality," commented Todd Nettleton, Voice of Martyrs USA director of news.
"[China] is doing what is in its best interests… [so] its business and tourism can go forward. It is easy if no one asks the hard question about persecution in China," he added.
Nettleton stated that while some unregistered churches have worshipped with little or no government interference, others have had its members beaten and imprisoned, or in some cases, killed by overzealous police officers.
China is now ranked ten in the 2006 Open Doors Christian Persecution Watch List – a slight drop as opposed to its ninth-place ranking last year.