China Points Finger Back at US Over Human Rights

FILE - A California Highway Patrol officer detains a protester on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, Jan. 18, 2016, in San Francisco. A group of demonstrators from the group Black Lives Matter caused a shutdown of one side of the bridge in a police brutality protest.

China says human rights in the United States have worsened due to police brutality, rampant gun violence and the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Beijing made the allegations Thursday in an annual report issued by the State Council in response to the U.S. State Department's release of its annual report of human rights violations in China and other countries around the world the day before.

In addition to domestic abuses, the Chinese report also accuses the U.S. of human rights abuses abroad, including countless civilian deaths in Iraq and Syria, drone strikes, and government eavesdropping of foreign nationals. Much of the information in the report was taken from various U.S. news outlets.

If the United States refuses to "hold up a mirror to look at itself" in terms of human rights, the report said, other nations must do so.

Human rights tensions

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry accused Washington of using human rights "to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries."

In its annual human rights report — 2015 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices — Washington said in China, "repression and coercion markedly increased during the year against organizations and individuals involved in civil and political rights advocacy," and was "especially severe" among the legal community.

Human rights have been a source of tensions between the two nations for decades, especially after the United States imposed economic sanctions on China after the deadly crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Beijing says it has lifted millions of its people out of poverty due to its rapid economic development.

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