China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei urged Washington to focus on its own human rights conditions, saying, “We advise the US side to reflect on its own human rights issues and not to position itself as a preacher of human rights,” the state-funded BBC reports.
“[The US should] stop using the issue of human rights reports to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs,” the Chinese politician added.
Hong says China welcomes talks about rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect. However, he added that Beijing resolutely opposes meddling in other countries’ affairs.
The development comes following the annual release of US State Department’s report on human rights, which criticized China for rights abuses.
The American report, considered by many observers as more of a political document against countries not in good terms with the US, accused Beijing of stepping up restrictions on lawyers and journalists.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also claimed on Friday that Beijing’s record on human rights was worsening.
“We remain deeply concerned about reports that since February, dozens of people including public-interest lawyers, writers, artists, intellectuals and activists have been arbitrarily detained and arrested,” Clinton said.
The Asian country has also been accused by the US of tightening controls on civil liberties and imposing more restraints over the press and internet access.
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