US says China rights record worsens
The United States has charged that China's human rights record was worsening, despite the new US administration's signal that rights will take a back seat in ties with the rising Asian power.
The annual State Department report on human rights on Wednesday said that China stepped up repression last year in Tibet and Xinjiang, restricting dissent and religious freedom.
"The government's human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas," the report said.
The report came days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Beijing and said that rights concerns should not hinder cooperation between the countries on issues such as the economic crisis and climate change -- a stance that drew howls of protest from human rights groups.
The State Department's annual report has long been an irritant for China, which has hit back with its own account of rights abuses in the United States.
In a striking departure under President Barack Obama, Clinton said that the United States would also try to uphold human rights in the United States.
But the State Department report did not hold back on China, saying that its record had "deteriorated severely" in Tibet.
China last year cracked down on major protests in Lhasa in March, the anniversary of the 1959 uprising in which Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama went into exile.
A day after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared victory in seizing an eastern Ukraine province essential to his wartime aims, a city in the path of Moscow's offensive came under sustained bombardment, its mayor said Tuesday. Mayor Vadim Lyakh said in a Facebook that “massive shelling” pummeled Sloviansk, which had a population of about 107,000 before Russian invaded Ukraine more than four months ago.
A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider a lawsuit filed by Mississippi's only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state. The Jackson Women's Health Organization sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court. It does not have an exception for pregnancies caused by incest.
China has started permitting international flights after a two-year ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is no word yet on the resumption of air services to India even after Beijing lifted a visa ban for Indian professionals and their families last month. China is also processing the list of hundreds of Indian students wanting to return to the country to re-join their colleges. Beijing is reportedly reviewing the Indian student lists.
Chinese vice-premier Liu He had a “constructive” dialogue with US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to strengthen “macro-policy communication” and coordination, according to a statement from China. Liu expressed concern over the additional tariffs that the US had imposed on Chinese goods during the video conversation, the official Chinese statement, released by state news agency Xinhua said. The exchange was “pragmatic and frank”, the Chinese statement said.
The European Parliament on Tuesday ratified landmark laws that will more closely regulate Big Tech and curb illegal content online, as the EU seeks to bring order to the internet "Wild West". "With the legislative package, the European Parliament has ushered in a new era of tech regulation," said a key backer of the laws, German MEP Andreas Schwab.