BEIJING – China accused the U.S. on Monday of pushing for Internet freedom around the world as a way to undermine other nations, while noting that Washington's campaign against secret-spilling website WikiLeaks showed its own sensitivity to the free flow of information.
The charges appeared in China's annual report on Washington's human rights record, which lambasted the U.S. over issues ranging from homelessness and violent crime to the influence of money on politics and the negative effects of its foreign policy on civilians.
The lengthy document published in official newspapers is a rebuttal to the U.S. State Department's annual assessment of human rights around the world that said China stepped up restrictions on critics and tightened control of civil society in 2010 by limiting freedom of speech and Internet access.
The U.S. has also protested the detention of government critics including artist Ai Weiwei as part of a recent Chinese crackdown on dissent.
"We hereby advise the U.S. government to take concrete actions to improve its human rights conditions, check and rectify its acts in the human rights field, and stop the hegemonistic deeds of using human rights issues to interfere in other countries' internal affairs," the report said.
WikiLeaks deeply angered U.S. officials by publishing tens of thousands of secret U.S. military documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and secret U.S. diplomatic cables from around the world.
The U.S. Army private suspected of supplying thousands of sensitive files to WikiLeaks, 23-year-old Bradley Manning, is being held in military detention in solitary confinement for all but an hour every day. He was charged with mishandling and leaking classified data, and in early March the Army filed 22 new charges against him, including aiding the enemy.
The Chinese report said that action by U.S. government comes while it also calls for the free flow of electronic information elsewhere.
It said Washington "wants to practice diplomacy by other means, including the Internet, particularly the social networks."
The Chinese report cited figures showing high crime, child poverty and racial discrimination in the U.S., and accused Washington of causing "huge civilian casualties" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The report pointed to the huge amount of money poured into last year's midterm congressional elections as a perversion of democracy, blasted Arizona's legislation on illegal immigration, and pointed to a women's bias lawsuit against Wal-Mart as evidence of continuing gender discrimination.