Tit-for-Tat: China and U.S. Trade Blows through Competing Human Rights Reports

By Sarah Akbar

On April 13, the State Department released its annual report on human rights, which singled out China, Russia, and the Middle East as some of the worst human rights violating regions. Secretary of State John Kerry pointed to a “global governance crisis” in which governments are increasingly suppressing free speech and other civil rights of citizens. The report singles out China as one such regime, and points to the repression of political advocacy and legal professionals. China fired back on April 14, releasing its own human rights report that criticized police brutality and gun crime in the United States. Spokesman Lu Kang for the Chinese government attacked the report as a tool for “irresponsible remarks about other countries’ internal politics.”