US on Friday slammed China for its "poor" human rights record of repressing Tibetans and other ethnic minorities, prompting an angry reaction from Beijing, which accused Washington of hypocrisy and blamed it for the global economic crisis.
In China, the government's human rights record "remains poor and is worsening" in some areas, including increased cultural and religious repression of ethnic minorities, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Michael Posner, claimed.
"In Xinjiang... (there has been) harassment of activists and public interest lawyers who are increasingly under surveillance and are being repressed. There's continuing repression in the Tibetan areas, limits on free expression, and control of the Internet," he told reporters soon after release of the annual State Department Human Rights Report yesterday.
The State Department report said the Chinese government increased its efforts to monitor Internet use, control content, restrict information, block access to foreign and domestic websites, encourage self-censorship and punish those who violated regulations.
China hit back at Washington, accusing it of hypocrisy while blaming the US for the global financial crisis.
"As in previous years, the (US) reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory," said the Information Office of the State Council in its report on the U.S. rights record.