China’s Communist Party, a regime with a long-documented history of using torture, seized upon the U.S. Senate report Wednesday to accuse the United States of hypocrisy for presenting itself as a bastion of human rights.
A correspondent for China Central Television, Wang Guan, called the Senate Intelligence Committee report documenting CIA torture of suspected terrorists “a heavy slap in the face of the American government.”
China’s state news service, Xinhua, said reports of CIA torture “gripped the nation.”
“Observers attributed the Chinese public’s interest in the report to the blatant contradictions between what the U.S. said it did and the actual reality,” Xinhua reported.
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While that might be an exaggeration, the Senate report drew significant commentary on Weibo, China’s main social media outlet.
The CIA report “astounded me and my peers. Sexual abuse by the democracy – small brutal torture by the land of freedom,” wrote Hua Qianfang, a writer from Liaoning province. He added that the U.S. government has given people who always praise the United States “a loud slap.”
Even before the report appeared, Xinhua had run an editorial saying the U.S. “should clean up its own backyard first and respect the rights of other countries to resolve their issues by themselves.”
North Korea’s KCNA news service also jumped on the CIA report, following the scrutiny it’s faced recently from the United Nations:
If the U.N. Security Council “handles the ‘human rights issue’ in the DPRK (North Korea) while shutting its eyes to the serious human rights issue in the U.S. . . . it will prove itself its miserable position that it has turned into a tool for U.S. arbitrary practices just as everybody can hear everywhere.”
China and North Korea are known as outliers worldwide in establishing laws that prevent arbitrary detention and torture. China, despite being courted worldwide by countries seeking investment, has been known to torture dissidents, ethnic minorities, members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and other groups.
McClatchy special correspondent Tiantian Zhang contributed to this report.