China Daily today attacks the US for its alleged hypocrisy in harping on China’s human rights violations, and points out some of America’s own gross violations to prove its point.
While pointing the finger at other countries over alleged human rights violations, the self-appointed monitors in Washington are practising exactly what they censure in others.
And what exactly are the gross human rights violations being perpetrated by the US? I hope you’re holding onto something:
Showing no respect of the human rights of Chinese citizens, the United States began demanding fingerprints and photos from Chinese applicants for visas to the United States on Monday.
The move infringes the human dignity and right to privacy of Chinese citizens.
So now we all know. What right does the US have of pointing fingers at China with documented examples of religious persecution, murders in prison, the arrest of reporters — how dare we come forward with such claims when at the exact same time we are inflicting such mental torture on the Chinese….by asking that they (and many others coming into America) be fingerprinted and photographed?
Don’t get me wrong. I think King-of-the-world Bush and his cronies are barking up the wrong tree by demanding the fingerprinting and photographing of arriving visitors. But to compare it to charges of blatant repression, arbitrary/illegal arrests and murder — give me a fucking break.
The same article ends with an, ahem, outspoken conclusion about us wicked Americans:
They can kill anyone they think is a potential threat to their precious lives. That is their idea of human rights.
One can almost visualize us evil Americans stalking the world, killing anyone at will on the slightest pretext, totally unaccountable to anyone. For the government that has honed political repression into a fine art to accuse Americans of killing anyone who threatens our “precious lives” — well, it’s a bit extreme, don’t you think? I mean, we weren’t the ones who massacred our own civilians some 15 years back for staging anti-government demonstrations. Few essayists in the US are locked up for the best years of their lives for posting an essay on the Internet.
There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go around in just about every government. But this sort of slam is beyond comprehension and beyond belief. When our leaders fuck up, there are hearings and investigations and banner headlines — not necessarily justice, especially under the current administration, but at least we can do something without fear of reprisal. If the fingerprinting is the best example China could come up with of America’s murderous ways, I think they’re on pretty shaky ground.
On a more personal note: I’ve been away a long time. There’s been a lot of recent news on stories that normally I would be shouting out about, like the obscene blog ban, the arrest and persecution of more reporters in Guandong, and the tightening of restrictions on the Internet, to name a few. With my new move home and the job search and an ever-nagging mid-life crisis, it’s been impossible for me to post the past several days. But I’m back in the mood now and I plan to post at least once a day, starting today. Thanks for your patience.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.