US credits China with improved human rights

THE CLINTON administration gives China credit for some positive but limited progress on human rights in a report issued yesterday - a sign that the United States will not carry through its threat to limit trade between the two countries.

In his election campaign Mr Clinton accused President Bush of not pushing hard enough on human rights in China, but he has since backed away from a confrontation.

In giving China credit for a slight improvement, the report reduces the chances that Mr Clinton will revoke its 'most favoured nation' trade status when it comes up for renewal in June.

The report also says the Chinese 'human rights record in 1993 fell far short of international accepted norms as it continued to repress domestic critics and failed to control abuses by its own security forces'. Since it was completed China has released some prisoners and allowed prisons to be inspected - concessions that State Department officials are expected to mention in testimony before Congress.

Started by President Carter in 1977 - and much disliked by some diplomats - the annual State Department report on civil rights now covers 193 countries and absorbs a great amount of time in US embassies abroad. Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch in New York, says the quality of information collected has improved and assembling it forces embassies to be in touch with human rights groups.

The 1,500-page report appears tougher than before on US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. Under President Reagan and President Bush the assistant secretary of state in charge of human rights, Richard Schifter, was believed by human rights organisations personally to rewrite and tone down the report on Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza.

In Saudi Arabia in 1993, the report notes, 85 people were executed 'by beheading, sometimes followed by gibbeting'. A Filipino was held in a Saudi jail without charge for four years because the paperwork about his arrest was misplaced by the arresting officer. An Egyptian, Mikhail Cornelius Michail, received 500 lashes for blasphemy and was deported.

Mr Roth said the State Department had had a long internal debate about whether or not to describe Bosnian Serb actions against Bosnian Muslims as genocide. In the event the report refers to 'a brutal campaign of terror - in which acts of genocide took place - to establish an ethnically pure state'.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine