China’s annual human rights report on the US
June 30, 2015 1:10 PM   Subscribe

Full text: The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014. via
posted by infini (26 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
While I do understand the interest of this report, I'd suggest that this one might be a bit more useful.
posted by howfar at 1:28 PM on June 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Said the raven to the crow.
posted by tempestuoso at 1:31 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


For reference, as noted in the opening paragraph, here's the just-released US State Department's 2014 report on Human Rights Practices for China (inclusive of Hong Kong, Tibet, and Macau); directory page for all of the 2014 country reports; and reports from prior years.

Previous discussions of China's annual report on the US (on Metafilter): 2012, 2011.
posted by cjelli at 1:32 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Twice even.
posted by French Fry at 1:42 PM on June 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Surprisingly quiet about LGBT rights in the USA.
posted by oceanjesse at 1:46 PM on June 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Ah yes, the annual Tu quoque report.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:46 PM on June 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Twice even.
Depends on whether the local jurisdiction uses 24 hour time or not.

This is interesting as a piece of propaganda but there aren't any revelations here. Everything has been said better by less hypocritical sources with better motives.
posted by vogon_poet at 1:47 PM on June 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


For such an purportedly important report, why does it feel like this was put together by a small team of interns and low-level party cadres using Baidu Google Bing over a couple of weeks? China is spending billions and billions of dollars trying to influence international opinion and has well-established elite academic research centers/think tanks. They couldn't spring for an expanded document, PDF conversion and even a few fancy diagrams?
posted by Bwithh at 1:47 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


One nation issuing a human rights report annually about another nation clearly wants to distract from its own abysmal record. If the nations playing this game would instead focus upon themselves (selfies), more might be accomplished and even change.
posted by Postroad at 1:49 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


One nation issuing a human rights report annually about another nation clearly wants to distract from its own abysmal record. If the nations playing this game would instead focus upon themselves (selfies), more might be accomplished and even change.
Postroad

Well, no, this is exactly the sentiment China is trying to create, and it's bullshit.

This isn't about "How dare anyone criticize the US!". There are many, many organizations in the US that do that, in many forms.

The point that this list from China is meant to detract from is that people and organizations in the US are free to make those criticisms, issue reports on problems in the country, etc. People and organizations in China cannot, and will be punished and/or jailed for trying.

There's only one entity attempting distraction here, and it's trying to draw attention away from its complete clampdown on any criticism of itself by its citizens. The idea that no country should be calling attention to other country's abuses is exactly the kind of cover China wants to create.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:53 PM on June 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


To repeat what I wrote in 2012 about why you should ignore this:

Because these reports are designed specifically to mock and lower the impact of the US State Department's human rights report on China. China writes exactly one report, the US covers 195 countries with its reports.

Because they are cynical efforts to cover up human rights abuses by saying "everyone does it."

Because they are random scrapings of the web listing Bad Things, rather than a serious effort to investigate human rights in the US. Everything here comes from the US media, it isn't like there is a real new contribution.

Because it is blatant propaganda aimed at Chinese citizens, and not improving American policy.
posted by blahblahblah at 1:55 PM on June 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Given the massive number of gross, brutal human rights and civil liberties violations the US committed in 2014, you'd think they could have done a better, more professional job of this. This reads like it was written by an algorithm.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:01 PM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


To repeat what I wrote in 2012 about why you should ignore this:

Except it's another World Power pointing a mirror at the US after the US does this to China (albeit with a finer level of detail, with the US report running 148 pages as compared to China's 9 pages).

Ignoring it isn't the right response, but then neither is lauding it as something bold and new.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:02 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Could the whole nation of China really not get a native English speaker to help with this? I can barely stand the awkward and non-idiomatic grammatical constructions.
posted by dis_integration at 2:05 PM on June 30, 2015


Ignoring it isn't the right response

What is? Ignoring it seems about right to me. What is the point of taking it seriously?
posted by Edgewise at 2:24 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Chinese Government's criticism would be much more credible, if, among other things, they allowed multiple political parties and elections, did not censor the internet, and acknowledged the Tiananmen Square massacre.
posted by haiku warrior at 2:25 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


For such an purportedly important report, why does it feel like this was put together by a small team of interns and low-level party cadres using Baidu Google Bing over a couple of weeks?

Yeah, you're right. I had trouble putting my finger on why this felt wrong, and it isn't exactly because the Chinese government has a shoddy record on human rights. I mean, China's government is big, like the US government. There are various departments and factions, and each has different ideas on how open China should be to US ideas and human rights and what not.

The country clearly has enough presence in the US to see what's going on—China has one embassy and five consulates in the United States. Confucian Institutes, China's attempt at a soft power presence in US universities, number over 50. Not to mention the thousands of Mainland Chinese expats that are students, academics, businesspeople, reporters, laborers, etc.
posted by FJT at 2:47 PM on June 30, 2015


Ignoring it may be the best thing to do. I get the feeling that China pointing out this stuff does nothing more than take heat away from the issue of human rights all around by trivializing it so much. All the eye rolling just causes heightened cynicism, diverting attention away from the issue all around. Kind of like Fox news claiming Obama is making terrible Mid East policy. Quite possibly true, but so cynical and hypocritical. Smarter people already new as much and how Fox's brand of conservatism is responsible for the worst of it over the years, rubes continue strengthen their devotion to the Fox bandwagon, everyone else cynically tunes out.

And it's not as if there aren't better sources to find abuses in governments around the world. Sources most likely used by China to write up this report. What sort of person thinks, "China's imprimatur brings so much more legitimacy to this news"? The whole reason this is a story at all isn't because of government abuse of civil rights. It's a story because China is such a hypocritical messenger.
posted by 2N2222 at 3:11 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the USA, there are plenty of organizations writing way better reports about human rights issues in the USA, and they pull no punches about placing blame on the state and powerful corporations when it's called for.

In China, writing the same report about China would get you blacklisted and arrested. Why is the report so shoddy? Because dulling critical thinking skills about one's own failings dulls them about everyone else's too. You start to really believe that poorly-sourced, fallacy-laden junk counts as legitimate criticism.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:27 PM on June 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think, beyond the bad English, the gotcha politics of it, and the sheer hypocrisy of the PRC criticizing anyone's human rights record, what mostly disturbed me was how shallow and facile it was.

There was, for example, much focus on gun availability in the USA, which is a problem to be sure but not what I'd classify as a human rights problem. Similarly while they took a few swipes at the prison system, there was no discussion of the routine use of long term solitary confinement in the prisons, the ongoing problem of prison rape, etc.

Hell, if they'd just cribbed Amnesty International's report they could have done a better job. As it is, they appear to have taken a few major headline grabbing stories and said to hell with the effort it'd take for a real report. Which, as others have mentioned, is puzzling. You'd think with all the resources the PRC has they could have put a five or ten person team on this full time and produced a report worth reading.

The USA has a great many things that are in dire need of improvement, the AI report is damning and well worth the read. I think I could have ignored the gotcha aspect and the blatant hypocrisy if the PRC had actually turned out a well researched, well sourced, and in depth report.

Instead this looks like something slapped together during an all nighter by someone who forgot it was their responsibility until the day before it was due.
posted by sotonohito at 6:02 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hm. As an American I'd never really thought of gun availability as a human rights issue. So point scored by China here despite all the sensible negative reviews above. I'll take more perspectives over fewer any day. Here's hoping they try and do a better job next year!
posted by astrobiophysican at 7:17 PM on June 30, 2015


"А у вас негров линчуют"
posted by PMdixon at 7:30 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The picture from "Bezbozhnik"-1930, is interesting. In the halo of Jesus is a Swastika.
posted by clavdivs at 8:12 PM on June 30, 2015


I dunno, maybe the low quality of the report is on purpose? Like, they do a half ass summer intern quality job on it so they can say,

"Hey anyone could write a human rights report. No big deal. It's fun, right?"

People start ignoring China's human rights report as garbage, maybe they'll start ignoring Amnesty's or the US's too. If they cared in the first place.

Saying a thing can cheapen it.

(boss at my previous employ, "World leader? We're World Leader. Anyone can say they World leader. They not so big, we take them.")
posted by porpoise at 8:45 PM on June 30, 2015


So both sides are as bad as each other? No wait, that's the American political system right?

Seriously though, you'd learn more about American human rights abuses reading Mefi. And I for one am not going to be pointing my Australian finger (except at Christmas island, treatment of indigenous Australians, etc)
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 7:01 AM on July 1, 2015




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