By Ben Blanchard
China urged the United States on Wednesday to “correct its ways”, after the US Senate said in a report the CIA misled the White House and public about its torture of detainees and acted more brutally and pervasively than it acknowledged.
“China has consistently opposed torture. We believe that the US side should reflect on this, correct its ways and earnestly respect and follow the rules of related international conventions,” China foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily briefing.
China is frequently accused by rights groups of using torture.
The government has in the past said it has been used and vowed to stamp it out, following a series of cases of wrongful convictions after confessions were extracted under torture.
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s five-year review of 6.3 million pages of CIA documents concluded that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al Qaeda and other captives in secret facilities worldwide between 2002 and 2006, when George W. Bush was president.
China and the United States often spar about each other’s human rights records. China has even begun issuing its own annual report on the US rights record, criticising the United States for issues ranging from racism to gun crime and homelessness.
China’s criticism of the United States came in the same week that a Chinese court handed down sentences of up to eight years in prison to seven students of jailed scholar Ilham Tohti, a member of the Muslim Uighur minority, in the western region of Xinjiang, in a case that has been criticised by the West.