April 3, 2005

Here's the US's summation of China's human rights record for 2004:

"China’s cooperation and progress on human rights during 2004 was disappointing. China failed to fulfill many of the commitments it made at the 2002 U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue. However, at the end of the year, working level discussions on human rights, which had been suspended when the U.S. supported a resolution on China’s human rights practices at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), were resumed. During 2004, the government continued to arrest and detain activists, such as individuals discussing freely on the Internet, defense lawyers advocating on behalf of dissidents and the dispossessed, activists arguing for HIV/AIDs issues, journalists reporting on SARS, intellectuals expressing political views, persons attending house churches, and workers protesting for their rights. Abuses continued in Chinese prisons. The Government continued its crackdown against the Falun Gong spiritual movement, and tens of thousands of practitioners remained incarcerated in prisons, extrajudicial reeducation-through-labor camps, and psychiatric facilities. The National People’s Congress amended the Constitution to include protection of human rights, yet it is unclear to what extent the Government plans to implement this amendment."

"Disappointing"? "Failed to fulfill commitments"? Wow. Paternalistic much?

For contrast, here's a sampling from the very first paragraph of China's report on the US:

"In 2004 the atrocity of US troops abusing Iraqi POWs exposed the dark side of human rights performance of the United States. The scandal shocked the humanity and was condemned by the international community. It is quite ironic that on Feb. 28 of this year, the State Department of the United States once again posed as the "the world human rights police" and released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. As in previous years, the reports pointed fingers at human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions (including China) but kept silent on the US misdeeds in this field. Therefore, the world people have to probe the human rights record behind the Statue of Liberty in the United States."


Believe me, from there the fur (and quotation marks, and misplaced articles) only flies all the furiouser. Although Bushites have been guilty of some heated prose themselves, they have yet to reach the Euripidean heights of this epic accusation. Too bad it's the wok calling the melting pot black.




Hi-Enjoyed your latest post.Thought you and your readers would like to know about an urgent situation affecting the free flow of information into China, and how you can help, if you would like to. Currently, there is only one source of uncensored news broadcast into China, available free via satellite by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV). The provider of the satellite transmission, Eutelsat, has decided to not to renew its contract with NTDTV and programming is scheduled to go off the air on April 15. Eutelsat's own Inter-Governmental Convention bylaws require equal access, non-discrimination and respect for pluralism, and NTDTV is clearly in compliance with those rules. 64 members of European Parliament have urged Eutelsat to keep NTDTV broadcasting into China. Despite Eutelsat's claims that they are purely making a commercial decision to terminate NTDTV's broadcast, all evidence indicates that it is a direct result of intense pressure from Beijing, coupled with lucrative reward. In December of 2004, Eutelsat signed an “historic partnership agreement” with the Chinese Ministry of Information. Right now, Eutelsat is lobbying hard on Capitol Hill, since it holds over 40% of US satellite contracts awarded by the Department of Defense. Eutelsat is arguing that the satellite capacity they provide to the US Government is militarily sensitive. In fact some of it is, but much is not and can be re-bid to other (mainly American) suppliers should they cancel NTD. We ask you to please contact your Senator or Congressperson as soon as possible and ask him or her to talk to: Deputy Secretary of State Robert ZoellickDeputy Secretary of Defense Paul WolfowitzWhat we want: -- US Government to immediately use all leverage with Eutelsat (USG is their # 1 satellite customer) to keep broadcasting NTDTV until an expanded, permanent "free speech platform" is developed on Eutelsat's W5 Asia satellite with no Beijing censorship on content. -- if Eutelsat cuts off NTDTV signal then USG should terminate all Eutelsat contracts that are not critical to US defense, and re-bid the rest of contracts aggressively. For more information and to sign a petition: http://www.ntdtv.com/xtr/eng/eutelsat/p4.htm An article from Wall Street Journal Europe:http://www.fofg.org/news/news_story.php?doc_id=951 “I am a peasant in China. I’ve been saving my money by living frugally so that I can have money to buy a satellite dish... to watch NTD secretly with the people in my village, to let more people in my village know the truth. Now I learn this terrible news. Is this the same European world that claims to have freedom of speech?” -Mr. Deng, viewer from Guangdong Province, China, March 2005 thanks a lot,Susan Prager