China issued its annual report on human rights in the US on Thursday, citing President Donald Trump’s claim of “out of control” crime and accusing the media of biased election coverage.

The State Council has issued the report every year since 1998, in response to the US State Department’s annual criticism of China’s human rights record.

Protests following the US election. Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr.

As with previous years, China’s six-section report covered the issues of gun violence, police abuse, as well as economic and racial inequality in the US. It criticised Washington’s air strikes in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

It also highlighted the shootings of black men Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by police officers, which triggered waves of protests.

On one occasion, the report directly cited President Trump as having said during his election campaign that “crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse” – a claim which was disputed by some major US publications.

US political rights

The State Council’s criticism of political rights in the US was reduced from seven paragraphs in its 2015 report, to just four paragraphs in the 2016 edition.

black lives matter
Protest in response to Philando Castile shooting. Photo: Fibonacci Blue via Wikicommons.

Nevertheless, numerous references were made to the November election, which saw the victory of Republican candidate Trump. “Voter turnout and support rate reached new low[s],” it read. “A growing number of Americans were disappointed or even angry about the election.”

Media ‘bias’

The State Council accused the US media of providing biased election coverage: “The media clearly chose their side in covering the election.”

It cited statistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara claiming that 57 of the top 100 newspapers by daily circulation endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, whereas only two supported Trump.

It added that the 2016 election was the most expensive ever at US$6.8 billion (HK$53 billion), accusing Washington of being controlled by “money politics.”

Donald Trump
Donald Trump. Photo: Gageskidmore via Flickr.

The US’s annual report on human rights in China was issued last Friday. It criticised Beijing for its crackdown on lawyers, as well as civil and ethnic minority activists.

The report also mentioned the alleged kidnapping of booksellers by Chinese authorities across Hong Kong and international borders, and the disqualification of pro-independence activists from Hong Kong’s elections and legislature.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.