In response to the May 24, 2012 U.S. State Department report entitle Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China recently published a report entitled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011."
Covering six full newspaper pages, China’s response is compelling to say the least. The Chinese government urges the U. S. Government to face up to its own human rights record as the U.S. government releases its Human Rights report criticizing the Human Rights record of nearly 200 countries and regions, year after year, yet it mentions not a word about human rights in its own country.
A report published by the U.S. Department of Justice on Sept 15, 2011, revealed that in 2010 US residents aged 12 and above experienced 3.8 million violent victimizations, 1.4 million serious violent victimizations, 14.8 million property victimizations and 138,000 personal thefts. The violent victimization rate was 15 victimizations per 1,000 residents (www.bjs.gov).
The Chinese government report accuses the U.S. of “prioritizing the right to keep and bear arms” over the protection of citizen’s lives and personal security, and exercises lax firearm possession control, resulting in Americans owning between 35 and 40 per cent of the world’s civilian-owned guns.
“Every 100 people having 90 guns (Online edition of the Foreign Policy, Jan. 9, 2011).
Although China leads the world in number of executions, it is delighted to point out that the United States leads the developed world in gun violence and gun deaths. According to a report in the online edition of the Jan 9, 2011 Foreign Policy, over 30,000 Americans die every year from gun violence and another 200,000 are estimated to be injured each year due to guns. Imagine the health care costs associated with such carnage. That is, of course, for the victims who can afford healthcare.
In Chicago, more than 10 overnight shooting incidents occurred between the evening of June 3 and the morning of June 4, 2011 (Chicago Tribune June 4, 2011). Over 40 years ago, then U.S. President Richard Nixon – a moderate on many social issues by today’s standards – said the United States should be careful about criticizing other countries’ human rights records because they’re going to say “You clean up Chicago and Detroit before you criticize us.”
While advocating press freedom, the United States in fact imposes fairly strict censoring and control over the press, the Chinese government report claims.
“The U.S. Congress failed to pass laws on protecting rights of reporters’ news sources, according to media reports. An increasing number of American reporters have lost their jobs for “improper remarks on politics.” Helen Thomas resigned for critical remarks about Israel in June 2010.”
Although US citizens are supposed to enjoy the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of the press, the Chinese government said recent events indicate otherwise.
“While forcibly evacuating the Zuccotti Park, the original Occupy Wall Street encampment, the New York police blocked journalists from covering the police action. They set cordon lines to prevent reporters from getting close to the park and closed airspace to make aerial photography impossible. In addition to using pepper spray against reporters, the police arrested 200 journalists, including reporters from NPR and the New York Times (uschinapress.com, Nov 15, 2011).”
While, here in Canada, it’s been widely publicized that police used illegal tactics during the G20, it is virtually unknown amongst the Canadian public that police were also confiscating from those taking pictures of the mayhem.
Meanwhile, as the Chinese government report pointed out, “The U.S. mainstream media’s response the Occupy Wall Street Movement revealed the hypocrisy in handling issues of freedom and democracy. A poll by Pew Research Center indicated that in the second week of the movement, reports on the movement only accounted for 1.68 per cent of the total media reports by nationwide media organizations. On Oct.15, 2011, when the Occupy Wall Street movement evolved to be a global action, CNN and Fox News gave no live reports on it, in sharp contrast to the square protest in Cairo, for which both CNN and Fox News broadcast live 24 hours.”
Internet users in the US are also facing far more restrictions than many people have been led to believe. The U.S. Patriot Act and Homeland Security Act both give the government the power to monitor and block any Internet content “harmful to national security.”
According to the Chinese government report, the U.S. Homeland Security Department routinely searched key words like “illegal immigrants,” “virus,” “death,” and “burst out,” on Twitter with fake accounts and then secretly traced the Internet users who forwarded related content.
According to the Globe and Mail (Jan. 30, 2012), Leigh Van Bryan, a British citizen, wrote on Twitter, prior to his flight to the U.S.: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?” As a result, Bryan, along with a friend, were handcuffed and put in a lockdown with suspected drug smugglers for 12 hours, by armed guards, after landing in Los Angeles International Airport, just like “terrorists.”
Democracy in America is increasingly becoming enslaved to the almighty dollar, according to the Chinese government report. In November 2011, the US Center for Responsive Politics said that 46 per cent of the US federal senators and members of the House of Representatives have personal assets of more than one million dollars. Thus, it’s no surprise that that US administration’s plans to impose higher tax on the rich who earn more than $1 million annually have been blocked in Congress (www.finance.ol.com). As one commentator put it, money has emerged as the electoral trump card in US politics, and corporations have a US Supreme Court recognized right to use their financial muscle to promote candidates and policies favourable to their business interests and resist policies and shut out candidates deemed inimical to their business interests. (Online edition of Time, Jan 20, 2011).
According to a Washington Post report on August 10, 2011, nearly eight of 10 Americans polled were dissatisfied with the way the political system is working, with 45 per cent saying they were very dissatisfied.
On Jan. 14, 2012, The Washington Post reported that US government continues to violate the rights of its citizens in the name of boosting security. The Electronic Frontier Foundation released a report in 2011 entitled “Patterns of Misconduct, FBI intelligence violations from 2001 – 2011,” citing as many as 40,000 violations of law, Executive Order, or other regulations governing intelligence gathering.
The New York Times reported on Oct. 20, 20-11, that the FBI has collected information about religious, ethnic, and national-origin characteristics of American communities. According to the Washington Post commentary on Jan 14, 2012, the US government can use “national security letters’ to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations, and order searches of everything from business documents to library records. The US government can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. On January 14, 2012, The Washington Post also wrote that the US government continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on sole discretion.
“The National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec 31, 2011, allows for the indefinite detention of citizens.”
The Act will place domestic terror investigations and interrogations into the hands of the military and which would open the door for trial-free, indefinite detention of anyone, including American citizens, so long as the government calls them terrorists (www.forbes. Com, Dec 5, 2011).
Meanwhile, the US continues to have the largest “prison population’ in the world, and the highest per capita level of imprisonment.
With this kind of human rights record, one has to wonder how the US can criticize the human rights record of other countries and why it isn’t trying to improve its own human rights record. The Chinese government is obviously enraged at US criticism of its Human Rights record, when the US engages in a lot of conduct it can’t justify, so it just ignores it. The Chinese government often claims that China is a developing country that shouldn’t have to meet the same standards as developed countries because it has so many more serious problems to deal with. Chinese government officials seem to think this justifies executing more people every year than the rest of the world combined, as well as harvesting the organs of prisoners. In China, in 2008, a medical student, in the Chinese military, who was studying English, described to me in great detail, how he and his supervisor harvested the organs of a just-executed prisoner. The demand for organs in China is such that the China Daily News reported that it is legal for anyone to sell their kidney (for about $5,500) and there are even government approved hospitals where the procedures are done. Meanwhile, The China Daily News reported that one million people per year are awaiting kidney transplants in China, while fewer than 4,000 kidneys were donated in 2011. It sounds like a suppliers’ market.
China has quite a bit to say!
Quite a lot Americans have no access to health care: report
English.news.cn 2012-05-25 18:50:02
BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. declares it has the best health care service in the world, but quite a lot Americans can not enjoy due medication and health care, said a Chinese report on the U.S. human rights record on Friday.
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011, issued by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, said the number of U.S. citizens who lacked health insurance in 2010 climbed to 49.9 million, and nine million Americans have lost health insurance during the past two years.
Moreover, an additional 73 million adults had difficulty paying for health care and 75 million deferred treatment because they could not afford it.
According to the report, death and infection risks caused by AIDS were also on the rise in the U.S.
The report said that since the first American patient was diagnosed with AIDS in 1981, 600,000 people died from the disease in the U.S. by the end of 2008, 1,178,350 Americans had been infected with AIDS.
In addition, nearly three quarters of the HIV carriers do not have the infection under control, and one in five people with human immunodeficiency virus is unaware that they have the disease, with only 51 percent undergoing medical treatment, it said.
U.S.-led wars create humanitarian disasters: report
English.news.cn 2012-05-25 18:49:01
BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The U.S.-led wars, albeit alleged to be "humanitarian intervention" efforts and for "the rise of a new democratic nation," created humanitarian disasters instead, said a report on the U.S. human rights record released on Friday.
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 was released by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011 issued by the U.S. State Department on Thursday.
For Iraqis, the death toll in the U.S.-initiated Iraq war stands at 655,000, the report said, adding that it is estimated that civilian casualties in the military campaign in Afghanistan could exceed 31,000, the report said.
Incomplete statistics revealed that the United States has launched more than 60 drone attacks in Pakistan in 2011, killing at least 378 people, the report added.
The report cited an article of the Guardian on March 11, 2012 as saying that an American soldier stationed in Afghanistan burst into three civilian homes in two villages in the small hours of March 11, shot dead 16 sleeping Afghan villagers, injured five others, and burned the dead bodies. The victims included nine children and three women.
Such "American-style massacre" against innocent civilians has once again pierced the veil of the United States proclaiming itself "a country under the rule of law" and "a human rights defender," the report said.
The report noted that the United States does not support the right to development, which is a concern of most of the developing countries.
In September 2011, the 18th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on "the right to development." Except an abstention vote from the United States, all the HRC members voted for the resolution.
The report said the United States continues its conducts that seriously violate the right of subsistence and right of development of Cuban people.
The United States has been pursuing hegemony in the world, grossly trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and capriciously violating human rights against other nations. It "appears more and more to be contributing to international disorder," the report said.
Millions homeless in U.S.: report
English.news.cn 2012-05-25 18:15:02
BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Millions of homeless people wander around streets in the United States, according to a Chinese report on the U.S. human rights record released on Friday.
The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011, released by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, said that about 2.3 million to 3.5 million Americans did not have a place that they called home to sleep in the night, and the number of homeless families grew by 20 percent between 2007 and 2010.
Over the past five years, the percentage of singles arriving at shelters after living with family or elsewhere in the community has jumped from 39 percent to 66 percent, the report said.
The report also cited related survey results as saying that there were an all-time record of more than 41,000 homeless people in New York City, including 17,000 homeless children.
On any given night in Santa Clara County, California State, 7,045 people were homeless according to a 2011 Santa Clara County Homeless Census and Survey, and advocates estimated that Chicago had up to 3,000 homeless youths in need of shelter on any given night, said the report.
The problems concerning human rights were the reflection of the U.S. ideology and political system that ignored people' s economic, social and culture rights, and the financial crisis was far from being the sole reason, the report said.
Ethnic minorities severely discriminated against in US: report
English.news.cn 2012-05-25 18:10:41
BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Ethnic minorities in the United States have long been suffering systemic, widespread and institutional discrimination, said the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011 released by China on Friday.
Ethnic minorities in the U.S. have low political, economic and social positions due to discrimination, said the report issued by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China, citing figures from different sources.
The number of ethnic people in civil service is not proportional to their population. The number of Asian Americans in New York City has topped one million, nearly 1 in 8 New Yorkers, but only one Asian-American serves in the State Legislature, two on the City Council and one in a citywide post of the New York City, the New York Times reported on June 23, 2011, according to the document.
The African-Americans' 2011 Equality Index is currently 71.5 percent, compared to 2010' s 72.1 percent, among which the economic equality index declined from 57.9 percent to 56.9 percent, and the health index, from 76.6 percent to 75 percent, and the index in the area of social justice, from 57.9 percent to 56.9 percent, according to the annual report released by the National Urban League of the U.S.
Ethnic Americans are also badly discriminated against when it comes to employment.
The unemployment rate of Hispanics rose to 11 percent in 2010 from 5.7 percent in 2007, according to the New York Times. A June 2011 report of the CBS News put the jobless rate of African Americans at 16.2 percent, For black males, it was at 17.5 percent, and for black youth, it was nearly 41 percent, 4.5 times the national average unemployment rate.
A study shows that of the seven occupations with the highest salaries, six are overrepresented by whites, according to a report of the Washington Post on October 21, 2011.
The poverty rate of African-Americans doubles that of whites, and the ethnic minority groups suffer severe social inequalities, said the Chinese document.
According to a report by the Pew Research Center released in June 2011, the median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households.
In 2010, poverty among blacks rose to 27.4 percent, and poverty among Hispanics increased to 26.6 percent, much higher than the 9.9-percent poverty rate among whites, according to www.census.gov.
The lopsided wealth ratios among whites, Hispanics and African-Americans in 2009 were the largest in the past 25 years, said a Pew Research Center Report.
In addition, the document said, ethnic minorities in the U.S. are denied equal education opportunities, and ethnic minority kids are discriminated against and bullied at schools.
According to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau on June 8, 2011, in 2008, among 18-to 24-year-olds, 22 percent were not enrolled in high schools for Hispanics, 13 percent for African-Americans, whereas only 6 percent for whites.
The document quoted the U.S. Education Minister Arne Duncan as saying on October 28, 2011 that, one third of American students are bullied at schools, and Asian American children bear the brunt.
"Racial discrimination has become an indelible characteristic and symbol of American values," it said.
Do you suppose this means that the Chinese ain't takin' no more s*** off the us?
Poverty rate among American women, children hits record high: report
English.news.cn 2012-05-25 18:05:24
BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Poverty rate among American women and children has reached new record high, said the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2011, released on Friday by the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China.
According to data from the United States Census Bureau, over 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010, including more than 7.5 million in extreme poverty and 4.7 million single mothers in poverty, said the report.
The poverty rate among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009, the highest in 17 years; the extreme poverty rate among women climbed to 6.3 percent in 2010 from 5.9 percent in 2009, the highest rate ever recorded, the report said.
The data from the U.S. Census Bureau also showed that more than 1 million children were added to the poverty population between 2009 and 2010, making the total number of children living below the poverty line exceed 15 million, the greatest since 2001.
The number of homeless children has surged. In 2010, 1.6 million children in the United States were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, up 33 percent from that in 2007, the report said, quoting figures from the U.S. National Center on Family Homelessness.
A report by the New York Times on October 15, 2011 said the infant mortality rate in the United States was 6.7 deaths per 1,000 live births, while the infant mortality rate among the African-Americans, 13.3 deaths per 1,000, almost doubles the national average. Editor: Deng Shasha
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