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Lawmakers, advisors refute U.S. criticism on human rights in China

Source: Xinhuanet | 03-09-2007 10:11

Special Report:   2007 NPC & CPPCC sessions

BEIJING. March 8 (Xinhua) -- Lawmakers and advisors voiced their strong condemnation here on Thursday of the U.S. State Department's 2006 Human Rights Report that criticized China's human rights situation.

Lawmakers and advisors made the remarks on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC) in response to the U.S. report issued Tuesday, which said China's human rights record deteriorated in some areas in 2006.

"It is sheer nonsense and groundless," said Degyi, a national legislator and vice chairwoman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region, saying the criticism on China's discrimination against ethnic minorities and women was "extremely ridiculous."

Citing her own experience, 48-year-old Degyi said she used to be the head of two Tibetan prefectures for 14 years before being newly appointed the region's vice chairwoman.

Gender equality is practiced in all social sectors in Tibet, not to mention the equality of different minorities, she said.

Degyi said it is groundless for the United States to conclude that the economic development of Tibet is achieved at the cost of traditional Tibetan culture.

"I was born in Tibet, and lived here for almost half a century. I've witnessed that the Tibetan culture heritage has been well protected since the region's peaceful liberation in 1951," said Degyi.

In 2006 alone, the Chinese government spent more than 300 million yuan to protect Tibetan cultural relics and religious sites.

Shi Rui, a political advisor, or member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), from Jingpo ethnic minority, said Jingpo people do not feel inferior despite their small population of 130,000.

NPC deputy Chen Zhonglin, dean of the School of Law under the Southwest University of Political Science and Law, said the U.S. report was not based on in-depth investigation but on the words by some overseas Chinese who took political bribes to intentionally distort the human rights situation in China.

Chen, vice-chairman of the China Association of Criminology, expressed his dissatisfaction about the part of the report distorting China's criminal and judicial system.

He said execution and death penalty are different in China. "It is strictly prohibited in China to execute directly after the death penalty is announced."

"Even if an appeal is rejected, the procedure of death penalty review and execution enforcement is still needed," Chen said.

Xue Cheng, another member of the CPPCC National Committee and secretary-general of the Buddhist Association of China, said China has been giving equal attention to different religions.

"Religious and non-religious people are respected equally in China. The ruling Communist Party of China adopts atheism, which has on the other hand ensured the equal and objective treatment to different religions," said Xue, adding that it is "totally ridiculous" for some countries to believe that the ruling party will set obstacles for religious groups.

Some other lawmakers and advisors suggested the United States care more about its own human rights issues and stop interfering in other nation's internal matters, while its own human rights condition is globally criticized.


Editor:Du Xiaodan