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Chinese Experts Reject US Human Rights Report
Chinese experts and scholars on Friday hit back at the 2001 global human rights report issued by the US State Department.

The United States human rights report issued every year goes against the trend of seeking dialogue instead of confrontation in the field of international human rights, said Zhou Jue, president of the China Society for the Study of Human Rights which held a seminar on the US human rights report.

The practice, which was not conducive to the healthy development of international human rights, would eventually lead the United States into an isolated and embarrassing situation, he added.

The differences on human rights between China and the United States should and could only be solved through equal dialogue, said Zhu Muzhi, a senior expert on human rights.

"Indiscreet criticisms and slanders would do nothing but hurt the bilateral relations, Zhu said, adding that the United States can profit nothing from doing so."

The Chinese people sincerely hope that the United States would do more to improve constructive and cooperative relations between the two countries, which would benefit international peace and development.

Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Jin Yongjian said that the United Nations had as always attached great importance to safeguarding and promoting human rights in various countries.

The United Nations made it clear that safeguarding and promoting human rights should follow the UN Charter and principles without interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.

"The United Nations has never requested or authorized the United States to compile or release such report," said Jin, who is the President of the United Nations Association of China.

"The United States has completely violated the UN Charter, principles and the gist of relevant international conferences and documents," he added.

Dong Yunhu, vice-president and secretary general of the China Society for the Study of Human Rights, noted that the United States always criticized other countries and regions, but turned a blind eye to its own human rights conditions.

"Such practice has even provoked questions from its own people, " Dong said, quoting Robert A. Seiple, the first American ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, by saying that the United States should include itself in the annual human rights report. If the United States could not write its own report, it could invite other countries to do so.

Ma Dazheng, director of the research center for development in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has visited Xinjiang for over 30 times since 1980s.

Ma said that everybody knew that a crackdown was the only way to tackle terrorism. The crackdown on terrorism must target everyone involved in the terrorist activities regardless of their ethnic or religious background.

"It is unwarranted that the US human rights report censured the Chinese government for suppressing the ethnic minorities and the Muslims in Xinjiang during the global crackdown on terrorism," Ma said.

On the issue about Bible smuggling by a Hong Kong businessman mentioned in the report, Cao Shengjie, a 71-year-old female pastor, said that smuggling itself is against the law.

The smuggled Bible is an edition translated by the "Shouters" who shout to pray. "The 'Shouters' claim they are bigger than Jesus," said Cao, vice-president of China Christian Council. "We Christians cannot accept this heresy."

Cao said that a publishing house based in east China's Nanjing City had published 28 million copies of the Bible which were sold in some 70 outlets across the country.

"We not only have a Chinese version but also versions in other ethnic languages," she said, adding that the Bible copies could easily meet the demand of the 15 million Christians in China.

Participants agreed that it was paramount for society to safeguard and promote human rights. The United States would surely be opposed by other nations for interfering in the internal affairs of developing countries by employing the issue of human rights as a political and diplomatic tool.

The US State Department issued the 2001 global human rights report on March 5. The report immediately received criticism from many countries including Brazil, Chile, Macedonia, Russia, Viet Nam and Pakistan.

(China Daily March 9, 2002)

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