"Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003" released by the U.S. Department of State on June 24, 2003, maliciously distorted the human rights situation in China, says a Chinese human rights specialist.
Dong Yunhu, deputy head and secretary-general of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, published an article on Wednesday entitled "For the purpose of advancing human rights or seeking confrontation?".
Dong said the U.S. report, which is being submitted by the State Department to Congress, is the first of the kind released by the State Department to highlight U.S. efforts in promoting human rights and democracy in 92 countries and entities -- the so-called 92 with the most human rights abuses.
The U.S. State Department published on March 31 the annual "Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002", criticizing human rights status in 196 countries around the world.
While talking in great detail about the different efforts made by "the American Administration in employing multiple strategies to promote human rights and the rule of law in China", the report has again made groundless accusations against China, exposing the U.S. Administration's plot to use human rights to smear China, said Dong.
The report of "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003" is submitted to the Congress in compliance with the "Fiscal year 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act" which requires the State Department to report on actions taken by the U.S. Government to encourage respect for human rights.
The Chinese Government has always protested and refused the "Fiscal year 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act" as it contains many anti-China articles. When signing the act in September 2002, President George W. Bush said articles in the act about China were inappropriate, and signing the act didn't necessarily mean he would accept or adopt the ideas as regard to U.S. foreign affairs, Dong said.
However, on May 8, in disregard of the protest by the Chinese Government, the U.S. Administration, in accordance with the requirements of the act, published a President's report on the so-called "Tibet Issues" pointing the finger at China's policies on Tibet and rudely interfering with China's internal affairs.
The State Department, again in accordance with the requirements of the act, published the so-called human rights report of Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003, which included China for grave human rights abuses, using distortion to interfere with China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, which of course will cause discontent in the Chinese Government and the Chinese people.
"Chinese people care deeply for and have the right of say in human rights issues in China," said Dong.
"In old semi-colonial and semi-feudal China, when imperialist superpowers including the United States invaded, enslaved and looted China for over a century, along with suppression and exploitation by feudalism, the Chinese people were not entitled to any human rights at all."
Chinese people waged a tireless struggle over a long term and paid dearly in order to overthrow suppression by imperialists and win independence, democracy, freedom and human rights.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, development has become a prime issue for New China and the key to solving all problems in the country, including human rights, Dong went on.
With the leadership of the Chinese Government, the Chinese people have persevered in efforts to shake off poverty, backwardness, expand democracy, realize modernization, and make sure that all citizens are entitled to civilized modern life.
Since the late 1970s, when China introduced its reform and opening-up drive, the country has been practicing policies concentrating on economic construction, rejuvenating the nation through science and technology and governing the country according to law.
It has kept expanding reforms in restructuring the economy and politics to promote a harmonious development of material, political and spiritual civilization, and has found a socialist modernization development path commensurate with China's situation and basic interest of the Chinese people.
The reforms have realized social progress so that human rights in China have been profoundly improved, said Dong.
In the past dozen years in particular, Chinese people have seen great improvements in both material and cultural life and have realized the historical leap from just having enough to eat and wear to leading a comparatively affluent life.
Poor population in China's rural areas, for instance, plunged from 85 million in 1990 to 28.2 million in 2002, while the life expectancy for Chinese residents rose from 70 years in 1988 to 71.8 years in 2002, nine years more than that for developing countries and approaching moderately developed countries, said Dong.
The Chinese human rights expert went on to say that by 2002, nine-year compulsory education was practiced across China and 91 percent of the country's illiterate were able to read and write.
In the meantime, democratic and legal construction has been greatly strengthened, with citizens' and political rights of the Chinese people being effectively guaranteed.
The National People's Congress system and the system of multi-Party cooperation and political consultation under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has been improved and are playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding democratic rights, said Dong.
"China has also made notable progress in democratic and political construction at grassroots level, governing the nation by law and building a socialist country where the rule of law prevails has been included in the Constitution," said Dong.
More laws and legal decrees have been adopted by the National People's Congress, its Standing Committee and regional people's congresses, and more administrative regulations have been established by the State Council since 1990.
Judicial reform has been expanded to ensure fairness in justice and law-enforcement and to safeguard and guarantee the legitimate rights of Chinese citizens.
"As China has started a new development stage and has been concentrating on constructing a comparatively affluent society, democratic and legal building in the country are further highlighted, and development of democratic politics, building of political civilization, respect for and safeguarding human rights are set by the CPC and our nation as important objectives for social development in the new stage of the new century," said Dong.
At present, China is at its best period of time in history featuring stable politics, steady economic development and social progress, greater national unity, coupled with improvements in people's lives and human rights, and Chinese people have been enjoying unprecedented freedom, democratic and human rights, which are objective facts that cannot be denied, said Dong.
"It is quite ridiculous that the U.S. Government on the other side of the Pacific Ocean has indulged itself in the role of 'tutor', paying no attention to the objective facts in China, and wantonly distorting and decrying human rights status in China and China's policies on human rights, " Dong said.
One main criticism of "Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2002-2003", was that China's "authoritarian Government continues to suppress political, religious, and social groups as well as individuals perceived to be a threat to regime power or national stability".
The so-called "efforts" made by the U.S. Administration in supporting human rights and democracy in China are cases of the U.S. Administration pressuring the Chinese Government to release criminals who have been convicted for crimes such as sabotaging China's national security.
China is a country ruled by law, and one has not committed a crime for thoughts, religious beliefs or opinions as long as he has not broken the laws of the country, and there are absolutely no "political prisoners", or prisoners of conscience, said Dong.
"It is a common practice in all countries of the world that law-breaking activities endangering the legitimate government and social stability will be punished accordingly."
Dong said that from the groundless accusations made in the report, it was clear that what the writers of the report cared most about was not human rights and well-being of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but the rights of a handful of law-breaking criminals to topple the legitimate political power of China and CPC's ruling position, and threaten China's national security.
Some anti-China forces in the Unites States have always used human rights issues as a strategic weapon to westernize, split up and demonize China and as an important excuse to curtail development of China and a strong China, Dong said.
However, facts have proved and will continue to prove that development of socialism with Chinese characteristics and China's emergence as a superpower is a natural tendency of history.
No external forces would be able to deter the Chinese people's firm will and determination to tread their own development path.
Dong believed that the report is another example of the United States practicing unilateralism and hegemonism under the guise of human rights.
The development in human rights was an important aspect of social progress for different countries and was an always-advancing historical progress, said Dong.
"All countries inevitably have human rights problems and have the need to promote development in human rights, so no country in the world could claim to be flawless and become an exception from making efforts to improve human rights."
The Chinese human rights specialist urged the U.S. Government to stop accusing and lecturing other countries by looking its own human rights problems in the face and making efforts to advance development of human rights in the United States.
(China Daily July 3, 2003)