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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Economy, International, Law, Media, Places, Politics, Society, War | 2 comments

China and North Korea Reject Annual U.S. Human Rights Report

It’s that time of year again: The U.S. State Department has issued its annual report on human rights around the world. And, as has become the custom, states like North Korea and China, which disapprove of America’s rendering, issue denunciations of the report.

We have posted three articles, two from China and one from North Korea, that encompass the latest counter-criticisms of the United States by the two one-party states.

First, in an article headlined America ‘Disqualified’ as Global Human Rights Judge, China’s state-run Global Times, informs that Beijing has issued its own report on human rights in the United States that highlights America’s ‘dismal human rights record,’ which renders it ineligible to judge others:

“The cases highlighted in this report are tiny but illustrative reflection of America’s dismal record on human rights … America’s tarnished human rights record renders it a morally, politically and legally feeble judge of global human rights.”

Also from the Global Times, although this and most Chinese editorials and op-eds are published almost simultaneously in all of its media, in an editorial headlined Human Rights Criticism of China a Fig Leaf for Diminishing U.S. Influence, Beijing argues that given America’s loss of financial and military influence, the human rights issue is Washington’s last remaining ‘ace in the hole.’ :

“While China’s improving human rights situation brings no benefit to the United States, discrediting China by finding fault with its rights record pays important dividends. In an age when Washington is losing its economic advantage and cannot use its military might at will, America has no ace in the hole left other than the human rights issue.”

Finally, one of Pyongyang’s state-mouthpieces, the Rodong Sinmun, quotes a commentary from another state-run media outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, which cites U.S. abuses that the Kim Jong-un regime asserts disqualifies Washington from criticizing anyone else. Say what one will about young despot Kim Jong-un, the quality of commentary coming out of Pyongyang since he came to power at least sounds more sane that its former Stalinist drivel:

“The right to food, clothing and housing – the most elementary of all human rights, are mercilessly suppressed in a society where the law of the jungle reigns and money is everything. … Furthermore, the consequences of America’s deeply-rooted racial discrimination regularly manifest in the fabric of everyday life. … The unending violence against women fully betrays how a barbaric U.S. society is facing the end of an era.”

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  • slamfu

    Sounds like a case where both sides are right. China and Korea should both be ashamed of their human rights records, and so should we. Not because we are in the same league as China or Korea, but because we have fallen far short of our lofty expectations of human rights. We have always held ourselves to a different standard and we still should. We are different, we are better. It has served us well in the last century. It used to mean something. China, while be a joke with regards to human rights, is correct in stating that we have tarnished our record.

  • Whatever mistakes the United States has committed, particularly since 9-11, it is good that we continue to raise the issue of human rights.

    And if Beijing wants to try and demonstrate that it is somehow better in this area, or that its crimes are somehow morally equivalent to ours – that is a competition worth encouraging.

    I noted that in this case, instead of paraphrasing U.S. criticism, Beijing-controlled media used direct quotes from the State Department report, and then attempted to rebut them. That’s progress. And it is clear that China leaders want to be seen as humane. They know that this issue affects their bottom line. And in China today – that is of primary importance.

    Also, in life and in politics, a phase of lip service, perhaps even a long one, always comes before action.

    All nations need to be reminded of the human rights commitments that they have made – and when they fail to meet them.

    That includes the United States of America.

    So I say to the Beijing leadership, which is in the midst of one of the great battles over the destiny of a nation in modern times, when it comes to competing over who is the greatest supporter of human rights, “Bring it On.”

    — William Kern

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