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US Criticism on China's Human Rights 'Groundless'
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Zhao Qizheng, vice-chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the 10th CPPCC National Committee, said on Friday the US Government's criticism of China's human rights record was groundless.

Speaking during a panel discussion of the ongoing annual session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), he said: "Protection of the human rights of all Chinese citizens was guaranteed by the Constitution. Progress has been continuously made in this field."

Progress in protecting human rights in China was transparent and public, according to Zhao, former minister of the State Council Information Office.

China has issued more than 20 white papers involving the development of its human rights so far, according to Zhao.

Chinese residents are satisfied with the level of protection, as are most foreign countries, he said.

The United States was not really concerned with human rights in China, but aimed to exert political pressure on the nation, a comment from Singapore said.

On Wednesday, Washington released an annual report on human rights around the world. It said China's human rights record "remained poor, and the government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses."

In response, Beijing on Thursday released a white paper on the human rights record of the US in 2005. In many languages, it argued that the United States' racial discrimination remained pervasive and that the American military abused prisoners held at detention centers abroad.

"Our white paper is well-grounded," Zhao said. All examples had English attributions, according to Zhao.

"But the criticism of the US over China's human rights is groundless, many facts were merely surmised or fabricated," he said.

Zhu Yinghuang, a member of the 10th CPPCC National Committee, said the most unforgettable news photo last year was a female soldier in her twenties abusing an Iraqi prisoner of war.

"The United States was the most unqualified to comment on other countries' human rights records last year," he said, adding that the US had its political purposes in acting as the self-styled "guardian of human rights."

"Different countries should have equal talks to promote the development of human rights," he said.

The US State Department began to publish reports on human rights practices in other countries in 1977. As in previous years, the US State Department pointed the finger at human rights situations in more than 190 countries and regions, including China, but kept silent on the serious violations of human rights in the US.

(China Daily March 13, 2006)

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