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China Slams US Human Rights Record on Racism, Gun Violence, Health Care

After the United States released a report last week that lashed China for widespread human rights violations, the Chinese government turned the tables on the U.S. today and issued its own report on the human rights record of the U.S., focusing on the rampant gun violence,  racial discrimination and the use of political donations to subvert the democratic process.

In the long-standing public relations war between the two superpowers, China is keen  to highlight the hypocrisies of the American system, showing that the U.S. has plenty of problems on its own shores even as it tries to point a finger at China.

The U.S. report, issued on Friday by the State Department, said China has increased efforts to silence and intimidate political activists and public interest lawyers, and that authorities continued to use extralegal measures such as enforced disappearances to prevent the public voicing of independent opinions.

But China, defining human rights as improving the living conditions for its citizens, emphasized gun violence as a serious threat to the lives and safety of America’s citizens.

The Chinese report, from the information office of the State Council, using mostly media stories, said that in the U.S. there is serious sex, racial and religious discrimination. It said that the U.S. seriously infringes on the human rights of other nations through its military operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. It also pointed to the “huge” number of homeless people in America and noted that the U.S. is one of the few developed countries without health insurance for its entire population. The Chinese said this is evidence that the nation was not doing a good job tending to the human rights of its citizens.

“The long-existing racial discrimination prevalent in the U.S. society sees no improvements, and ethnic minorities do not enjoy equal political, economic and social rights,” the Chinese report said.

The report pointed out that the U.S. government continues to increase the monitoring of its people and that political donations to election campaigns have undue influence on U.S. policy.

“American citizens do not enjoy a genuinely equal right to vote,” the report said, citing a decreased turnout in the 2012 presidential election and a voting rate of 57.5 percent.”Ethnic Americans’ rights to vote are limited,” the report said. “During the presidential election in November 2012, some Asian-American voters were obstructed at voting stations and received with discriminations. The United Nations Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur used to lodge a joint accusation against the U.S. of failing to fully guarantee the rights to vote of African-Americans and Hispanics.”The report used FBI statistics to focus on the prevalence of crime in the U.S., stating that an estimated 1,203,564 violent crimes occurred  in 2011, about 386.3 violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.

“Americans are the most heavily armed people in the world per capita,” the report said. “According to a CNN report on July 23, 2012, there were an estimated 270 million guns in the hands of civilians in the U.S. and more than 100,000 people were shot by guns each year. In 2010, there were more than 30,000 deaths caused by firearms. However, the U.S. government has done little in gun control.”

The report went on to list some of the recent high-profile shootings in the U.S., such as the massacre in Aurora, Colo., and the killing of 20 schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn.

And to poke at one of the U.S.’s open wounds, the Chinese report quoted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said last year after the Colorado shooting, “I don’t think there’s any other developed country in the world that has remotely the problem we have.”

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