Beijing has urged the United States to "take care of its own affairs" before focusing on human rights abroad, in response to a scathing US report. The Chinese rebuttal referred to US gun violence and racism.
The human rights situation in China has "never been better," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing on Thursday, a day after the US issued a report criticizing human rights violations in the Asian country.
"We hope the US will remove the colored lenses and discard the Cold War mentality," Lu said, adding that he hoped Washington would "stop interfering in China's internal affairs with human rights as a pretext."
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Beijing of boosting its repression against Muslims "to record levels" in the course of last year.
"Today, more than 1 million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other Muslims are interned in reeducation camps designed to erase their religious and ethnic identities," he said. "The [Chinese] government also is increasing its persecution against Christians, Tibetans, and anyone who espouses different views from those or advocates those of government — or advocates change in government."
Pompeo was presenting an annual State Department report that looks at human rights violations in a country-by-country review. While the US document also criticized countries such as Iran, Venezuela and North Korea, Pompeo said China was "in a league of its own when it comes to human rights violations."
US should look at itself 'first'
On Thursday, Chinese spokesman Lu dismissed the report as based on "ideological prejudice."
"We also advise that the United States take a hard look at its own domestic human rights record, and first take care of its own affairs," he added.
China's State Council also issued a 12,000-word annual rebuttal of the US report, in which it pointed to high rates of gun violence in the US, as well racism, sexism, and lack of media freedom.