Page last updated at 11:12 GMT, Friday, 27 February 2009

China denounces US 'rights abuse'

Crowd of Americans
Americans hail Obama but China says racial divisions remain

China has responded in detail to a US report published this week criticising China for alleged rights abuses.

Beijing released its own report on the US, saying crime is a threat to many Americans and racial discrimination prevails in social life across the US.

When US officials first published their report on China, Beijing told them to mind their own business.

The BBC's James Reynolds, in Beijing, says the reports are a standard yearly exchange with little practical impact.

The 9,000-word Chinese report depicts a bleak picture of the US, saying violent crime is a widespread threat to people's lives, property and personal security.

The American people's economic, social and cultural rights are not properly protected, say the Chinese, and many young Americans "have personality disorders".

"The US practice of throwing stones at others while living in a glass house is testimony to the double standards and hypocrisy of the United States in dealing with human rights issues," says the report.

Beijing's report came after the US state department concluded in its annual report on rights around the world that China's human-rights record worsened in some areas in 2008.

The US report accused China of harassing dissidents and increasing its repression of ethnic minorities.

Last weekend, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks in Beijing with China's leaders and, in public, the issue of human rights was barely mentioned.

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