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CHINA: State Dept. Human Rights report

The State Department keeps track of the human rights record of various countries. From China, Paul Simon sends me a summary of the 103-page section of the report dealing with China. Here is is in a nutshell: "Washington will not accept China using the international fight against terrorism to legitimise a widening crackdown on Muslim activists in its northwest, a senior State Department official warned yesterday. Releasing the department's annual human rights report, Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner said China had labelled ethnic Uygur activists in Xinjiang as terrorists. "We don't subscribe to their notion," Mr Craner said. "We have told them [Beijing] that we don't think that's correct, and just as we say in other countries where people are advocating greater freedoms and greater civil liberties, that does not make them terrorists." The Xinjiang situation was given special mention in the report's general introduction and features prominently in the 103-page China section".

My comment: I don't know enough about the situation to pass judgment. However, the world community is uneasy when one country passes judgment on all the others, since biases inevitably creep in. It would be more convincing if an international body did the job, but which one??

Ronald Hilton - 3/8/02