GENEVA: China on Wednesday blasted the United States' human rights record, citing what it called US failures against COVID-19 that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, as well as racial discrimination, police brutality, and an evil past of genocide.
Jiang Duan, a counsellor at the Chinese mission in Geneva, voiced the criticism at the end of an examination of the US rights record at the Human Rights Council, part of a regular review faced by all countries at the United Nations' top human rights body.
The comments testified to growing outspokenness of Chinese diplomats, and the swelling rivalry between the world's top two economic powers.
The US has repeatedly criticised China's rights record on issues like the rights of protesters in Hong Kong and the detention of Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region.
In a brief but sharp statement, Jiang criticised US military interventions abroad that had resulted in tremendous deaths of civilians and faulted US forces for having slaughtered innocent civilians and conducted torture in other countries.
The US neither apologises for its evil past of genocide nor provides reparation to the victims, he said, without elaborating.
The US has failed to take effective measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.
Jiang said the US didn't accept most of China's recommendations during the review.
Lisa Peterson, the US acting assistant secretary for democracy, human rights and labour, said the US was very proud that it had accepted more than four-fifths of 347 recommendations put up by other countries on ways the US could improve its rights record.
She outlined US support for some recommendations and pointed to US efforts on issues such as the rights of migrants and indigenous peoples, climate change, and improving Americans' access to health care during the pandemic.
Peterson said no issue is more central to the goals and policies of the Biden administration than addressing systematic racism - forthrightly, honestly and powerfully and the legacy of discrimination in our country.
We're not perfect far from it but we are going to keep striving to live up to our highest ideals and principles, she said, shortly before Jiang and other diplomats spoke.