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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 09:33 GMT
China condemns US rights record
A Iraqi inmate works prayer beads through the bars of her cell in the Abu Ghraib Prison run by the U.S. military on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, May 8, 2004.
The report highlights the US abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib
China has accused Washington of serious human rights violations, saying the abuse of Iraqi detainees by US soldiers exposed "the dark side" of US policy.

Beijing was responding to the US' annual assessment of human rights around the world by assessing the US.

The Chinese report said racism was entrenched in the US and dismissed its electoral system as a contest of money.

"It is quite ironic that... the United States once again posed as the 'world human rights police,'" it said.

"The atrocity of US troops abusing Iraqi PoWs exposed the infringement of human rights of foreign nationals by the United States," the State Council report said, referring to documentary evidence that American soldiers systematically abused detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"People have to probe the human rights record behind the State of Liberty in the United States," it said.

The report also highlighted the individual case of a Chinese woman called Zhao Yan, who was beaten and attacked with pepper spray by a US border guard during a visit to the Niagara Falls.

It cited census figures as saying that US poverty figures had risen for three consecutive years and said Americans were threatened by "rampant violent crime".

On Monday, the US condemned China's human rights record in its annual report which covered 196 countries, blaming Beijing for the killing and torture of dissidents.

China said it was "very dissatisfied" with the report.

"This kind of report will do nothing good for the improvement of bilateral relations. It will do no good to improve mutual confidence in each other," added foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao.

Mr Liu insisted China "has made important progress in human rights".

It was the sixth year running China has issued such a report on the US' human rights situation.

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