U.S. Labels China as “Force of Instability”
The U.S. points its finger at China, along with Russia, Iran, and North Korea, calling these countries “forces of instability” in the State Department’s global human rights report for 2017 that was released last Friday.
The human rights violations in the target countries, according to the State Department, include restriction of the freedom of speech and assembly, and allowing or committing violence against religious, ethnic, and other minority groups.
On China, the report says the government carries out arbitrary detentions, executions and forced disappearances. It also says the government puts "significant restrictions'' on freedoms of speech, religion, and movement.
In addition, in the "coercion in population control" section, the report says that China enforces "a coercive birth-limitation policy that in some cases included sterilization or abortions.”
Last year, the Trump administration decided to eliminate funding for the U.N. Population Fund, largely because it was convinced that the agency had supported coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in China.
John J. Sullivan, US Deputy Secretary of State, accused China of spreading “the worst features of its authoritarian system”. He emphasized that countries undermining the fundamental dignity of people are "morally reprehensible" and harm US interests.
In response, one of the official media, China Daily, defends China by arguing that the country has been facilitating domestic and global human rights by lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in past decades, and contributing to a third of global economic growth in the past decade, more than any other country.
“Pointing out China's problems in human rights is one thing and should be welcomed…But calling China a ‘force of instability’ is just blown out of proportion and does not at all fit the reality,” said China Daily. “China is a source of not only stability but prosperity for its own nation, the region, and the world, not to mention China's greater role in United Nations peacekeeping missions and global governance.”
On the other hand, the Chinese Information Office of the State Council released "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2017" on April 24th. The report accused the US of infringement on citizens' civil rights, systematic racial discrimination, widening rich-poor divide, etc., as well as violations of human rights in other countries, such as civilian casualties caused by US military operations in Syria.
The US has a long track record of criticizing China’s human rights condition in its annual reports. China, in turn, typically defends itself by highlighting economic performance and counterattacks the US by publishing its own version of human rights report targeting the US.