The Age
Beijing hits at US rights record


Tuesday 29 February 2000

China fired a further broadside at the United States yesterday by publishing a paper probing Washington's human rights record.

"The US does not have a good human rights record of its own but likes to play the role of the world's human rights judge," the paper concluded. "It makes unwarranted accusations about other countries' human rights records year after year."

The five-part paper, entitled US Human Rights Record in 1999, was issued by the State Council.

It comes in response to a US State Department paper issued last Friday which condemned China's human rights record in 1999 as having "deteriorated markedly" over the past year.

The report, for which much of the material was gleaned from US media reports, covered a range of issues but focused on military use.

"The US uses its military might to indulge in aggressive wars, violating sovereignty and human rights of other countries," it said.

It homed in on the US-led NATO forces' bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the Balkans conflict last year.

It also denounced the state of rights of women and children in the US, pointing to the 14.5million American children living in poverty and 4.2million cases of domestic violence each year.

China's President Jiang Zemin has issued an alert for People's Liberation Army forces, including those on the coast along the Taiwan strait, according to the Chinese-language daily The Sun.

It said he signed decrees ordering several military regions and the East China Fleet to go on alert from 23 February, citing unnamed "insiders" in Beijing.

Original article