The State Department released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – 2006 today. Every year, AIUSA takes great anticipation to the release of the reports, such as getting the high level staff ready to respond to media questions and having volunteers to review the reports and provide comments a few hours immediately following the release. I was one of the lucky ones given the reviewing assignment. The China report (excluding Taiwan) is, as I expected, quite long, over 49,000 words altogether. I read less than a tenth of it in one hour and that’s when I decided to give up on submitting my comments to AIUSA during the day. I took a stab at it again tonight and got through about a quarter of it. I can’t imagine anyone reading the reports of all 193 countries. The media reports in turn were brief, mostly based on the overall Introduction of the reports.

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Update (3-7-2007): The Chinese authorities responded negatively to the report. Just like in previous years, they considered such reports or any publicly addressed criticism concerning human rights by the US government as “interfering in the internal affairs” of China.

Update (3-10-2007): Staying true to a tradition started in 1998, China issued the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2006 two days after the US State Department’s release of the annual human rights report. The Chinese authorities stated clearly the purpose of their report was a direct response to the US report. I just wish that they are as opened and honest with their own human rights issues.