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China asks U.S. to learn from failure of human rights resolution

Kyodo News Service, Japan
Apr. 16, 2004 • Sunday April 18, 2004

BEIJING, April 16 (Kyodo) — China on Friday urged the United States to take a lesson from the defeat of its U.N. resolution criticizing China’s human rights.

”The United States again made its anti-China motion, and there is not a single piece of evidence,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said via the ministry’s website.

”The Chinese government is persisting in making people a priority, taking people’s interests as a starting point and a permanent place for our work.”

On Thursday, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights voted 28-16 to take no action on the motion, which means defeat.

After the June 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, the U.S. had criticized China’s human rights record every year at the commission. But it stopped in 2002 and 2003 as Sino-U.S. antiterrorism cooperation picked up in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S.

The U.S. introduced the resolution to the 60th commission meeting this month ”for domestic political needs,” Kong said.

”Again it took a path of resistance, this result isolated it, and it reached an endpoint of failure,” he said. ”We urge the U.S. side to look squarely at reality, take a lesson from failure and give up its resistance.”

China ”admires and appreciates” the countries that supported China at the commission meeting, the spokesman said.

”Almost every year, it is the same scenario,” a commission spokesperson said. ”Sometimes the resolution on China is sponsored by the U.S., sometimes by the Europeans.”

U.S. officials, who discontinued two-way human rights dialogue with China in December 2002, say that in 2003 China cracked down too hard on Christians, Internet dissidents and Uyghur minorities in the northwest. They also cited action against Falun Gong practitioners.

China advocates dialogue as a way to settle any disputes over its human rights record.

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