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In an annual report seeking to counter U.S. accusations of human rights abuses by China’s ruling Communist Party, China has bashed the U.S. on racism, financial inequality, and the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 28-page report released by China’s cabinet begins with “I can’t breathe,” a reference to George Floyd, the Black American who was killed last May after a police officer pressed his knee against his neck for nearly nine minutes.
The State Council Information Office document stated that the United States in 2020 “saw its own epidemic situation go out of control, accompanied by political disorder, inter-ethnic conflicts, and social division."
It similarly highlighted the January 6 right-wing attack on the Capitol building and rampant gun violence, and systemic health disparities.
Chang Jian, the director of a human rights studies center at Nankai University in Tianjin, China, said at a press conference: “What happened on Capitol Hill revealed the shortcomings of US democracy."
Jian remarked that " the two political parties would sometimes do everything they can to advance their own interests…they would incite division and violence among the people. So can U.S. society continue to prosper under its current democratic system? I would put a question mark on it.”
China releases a similar report each year in response to U.S. criticism of the Asian giant's record on issues such as abuses against minority groups in the western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet and a crackdown on unlawful opposition acts in Hong Kong.
The report mentions the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed many more people in the US than in China, to highlight the Communist Party’s response to the outbreak – and, in turn, the benefits of its political system.
“To defeat the epidemic requires mutual help, solidarity, and cooperation among all countries. However, the United States, which has always considered itself an exception and superior, saw its own epidemic situation go out of control, accompanied by political disorder, inter-ethnic conflicts, and social division,” the report said.
The report continued by stating that “vulnerable groups became the biggest victims of the government’s reckless response to the epidemic."
The Chinese report is based on open-source material, as opposed to the equivalent U.S. document, which relies on diplomats, journalists, and "human rights" activists who do not always reveal their information due to the tainted legitimacy of their sources.
The report's release comes after the European Union joined the U.S., UK, and Canada in imposing sanctions on Chinese officials over allegations of abuse of ethnic minorities.
Beijing responded by announcing it would penalize four European legislators, a German researcher, and European-based rights organization with bans on traveling to Chinese territories or having financial interactions with Chinese institutions.
According to Li Xiaojin, a human rights official from the State Council Information Office, “The United States has mountains of human rights problems in its own country. However, it is more intensively interfering in other countries internal affairs under the banner of human rights. It’s like when it is sick but asks others to take medicine and injections.”