News

US brands China and Russia 'forces of instability'

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


WASHINGTON, DC, United States (AFP) — The United States branded strategic rivals China and Russia “forces of instability” yesterday, grouping them with Iran and North Korea as countries whose rights abuses amount to a global threat.

The charge was made by acting secretary of state John Sullivan as he launched Washington's annual global human rights report, which this year is focused on destabilising abuses by state actors.

Human rights groups were quick to criticise the report, saying President Donald Trump's Republican Administration had stripped the document of reporting on assaults on sexual and reproductive rights to focus on State-driven abuses.

But Sullivan insisted the report must focus on threats to US and international security.

“The 2017 US National Security Strategy recognises that corrupt and weak governance threatens global stability and US interests. Some governments are unable to maintain security and meet the basic needs of their people, while others are simply unwilling,” Sullivan wrote in the report's preface.

“States that restrict freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly; that allow and commit violence against members of religious, ethnic, and other minority groups; or that undermine the fundamental dignity of persons are morally reprehensible and undermine our interests,” he wrote.

“The governments of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, for example, violate the human rights of those within their borders on a daily basis and are forces of instability as a result.”

Global watchdog Human Rights Watch was unconvinced.

“This year's US State Department human rights report guts the analysis of sexual and reproductive rights, reflecting the Trump Administration's hostility toward these issues,” the group's Washington Director Andrea Prasow told AFP.

“In doing so, the Administration is undermining a document that has long been relied upon by the Congress, foreign governments and activists alike to assess human rights conditions around the world.

“This is unfortunately only one facet of the Administration's efforts to downplay human rights as an element of US foreign policy.”

Last year's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices was prepared from research conducted by US embassies around the world under the previous US Administration of president Barack Obama.

Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was much criticised for refusing to publicly present the document himself, as his predecessors had traditionally done.

Tillerson has since been sacked — despite championing Trump's “America First” agenda and warning that sometimes America's interests trump its values when dealing with foreign powers.

His nominated successor, CIA director and foreign policy hawk Mike Pompeo, has yet to be confirmed in office by the Senate.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT