US, China engage in human rights war of words

Beijing on Thursday fired back at criticism from the United States and 11 other Western countries calling attention to China's "deteriorating human rights record" at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The accusations follow recent disappearances of five Hong Kong residents associated with a publisher of books banned in China and the temporary detention of a Swedish man accused of training unlicensed lawyers there. The Swedish national disappeared from his holiday home in Thailand and later made a tearful appearance on Chinese state TV to say he surrendered over a 12-year-old fatal drunk driving case.

The Western countries denounced the "unexplained recent disappearances and apparent coerced returns" of Chinese citizens and foreigners to China. They also claimed Beijing's "extraterritorial actions are unacceptable."

U.S. ambassador Keith Harper told the council state broadcasts of confessions before any judicial process violates international conventions and Chinese laws.

China’s Ambassador Fu Cong responded, "The United States conducts large-scale extra-territorial eavesdropping, uses drones to attack other countries' innocent civilians. Its troops on foreign soil commit rape and murder of local people."

Fox News' Jonathan Wachtel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.