By Tokana Hasavi Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The United States has once again slammed China’s human rights record in an annual report released last week.
China’s Foreign Ministry dismissed the report, saying it embraces a persistent bias in order to make irresponsible remarks about China’s domestic affairs.
Human rights have long been a source of tension between the world’s two largest economies, with China criticising the US in June about violating human rights in other countries.
China’s human rights criticism by the US is particularly connected to the brutal crackdown of protestors, in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, in 1989.
Thousands of Chinese university students began their sit-in protest, demanding democracy and transparency from the communist government.
Soldiers were deployed; subsequently killing up to 1,000 protestors after they defiantly maintained their stance.
The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China says it has “a disturbing deterioration in human rights that pose a direct challenge to U.S – China relations”.
In June, China released its own report accusing the US of being “haunted by spreading guns” and racial discrimination, in its annual tit-for-tat rebuttal to US criticism.
In a lengthy report, China said the US “violated human rights in other countries in a more brazen manner, and was given more ‘red cards’ in the international human rights field”.
But recent events in China paint a different picture.
Under President Xi Jinping, China is conducting what activists say is the worst domestic crackdown on human rights in two decades.
Close to 1,000 rights activists were detained last year – nearly as many as in the previous two years combined, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a coalition of Chinese and international NGOs.