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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 March, 2005, 14:59 GMT
China defends human rights record
Chinese police with suspects
The US says Chinese dissidents have died in custody
China has condemned a US report alleging serious human rights violations, saying it could damage relations between the two countries.

The report, released by the US state department on Monday, blamed China for the killing and torture of dissidents.

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

"The US should stop using double standards on human rights and stop interfering in the internal politics of China," said a spokesman.

"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.

Allies criticised

The annual report covered the human rights situation in 196 countries.

As well as condemning US enemies like Iran and North Korea, it criticised allies like Russia, for curtailing democracy, and Saudi Arabia, for torture and intimidation.

In China, it said, the authorities "were quick to suppress religious, political and social groups" deemed a threat.

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

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China said it would release an assessment of the US' human rights record on Thursday, including "invasions into other countries and the mistreatment of foreign inmates".

Among the other countries affronted by the US report were Thailand and Venezuela.

"The US should not use its own benchmark to judge the human rights situation in other countries", said Thai foreign ministry spokesman Sihasak Phuangketkeow, after the report cited the deaths of more than 180 people in Muslim areas at the hands of Thai security forces.

Venezuela's vice president Jose Vicente Rangel dismissed US allegations of torture and extra-judicial killings as "more lies and hypocrisy".


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