China warns US not to interfere on human rights

China wants to talk about China-US cooperation on human rights at the UN.

Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 22:34 PM IST

Beijing: China warned the United States
not to overstep bounds in human rights talks this week
that the State Department says will focus on an ongoing
dissident crackdown that appears to be Beijing`s most severe
in years.

China hopes the meeting will help deepen mutual
understanding but doesn`t want human rights used as a pretext
to meddle in domestic affairs, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong
Lei told reporters at a briefing.

"We oppose any country that uses human rights to
interfere in China`s internal affairs," said Hong.

The two-day US-China Human Rights Dialogue starts
Wednesday in Beijing. The State Department said last week the
talks would focus on the dissident crackdown, rule of law,
freedom of religion and expression, and labor and minority
rights.

China wants to talk about new human rights
developments in both countries, as well as China-US
cooperation on human rights at the United Nations.

Beijing says Washington is hypocritical to lecture
others on rights when it has so many problems of its own, such
as high crime, homelessness, racial discrimination, and
killings of civilians and other abuses by US forces overseas.

The lead participants are Michael Posner, assistant
secretary for democracy, human rights and labor, and Chen Xu,
director-general of the department of international
organisations and conferences of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China`s annual assessment of America`s human rights
situation earlier this month accused the US of advocating
Internet freedom to boost its influence over other countries,
while at the same time pursuing legal challenges to the
WikiLeaks secret-spilling website.

The report advised the US government to improve its
human rights conditions and stop interfering in other
countries` internal affairs.

US officials have voiced concern about the growing
number of Chinese government critics detained or put under
house arrest in recent months. The crackdown on writers,
lawyers, artists, and other intellectuals follows
anti-government protests in the Middle East and North Africa
and appears to have been triggered by concern that similar
unrest could erupt here.

Bureau Report