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China criticizes U.S. over Los Angeles riots

By DAVID R. SCHWEISBERG

BEIJING, May 4, 1992 (UPI) - China, eagerly turning the tables on its human rights critics, used the Los Angeles riots for a second day Monday to attack the United States for racial discrimination and said U.S. rights abuses are ''far worse'' than believed.

The Communist Party flagship newspaper People's Daily, in a signed article, blamed the Los Angeles violence on ''racism and racial discrimination, which hinder respect for and protection of the basic human rights of the U.S. minorities.''

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The article was the second such comment in as many days. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Sunday said the rioting illustrated human rights violations in the United States and said the conflict was ''not accidental.''

After years in which the U.S. government and Congress have been the most persistent critics of repression in China, the Chinese government is clearly relishing the opportunity to waggle its finger back from the moral high ground.

''The massive racial clashes in Los Angeles have shocked the whole world, and people see that abuse of human rights in the United States is far worse than they had expected,'' the article said.

''It is certain that tragic racial clashes will not cease to occur in the country until the human rights of blacks and other ethnic minorities are respected and protected in the true sense,'' it said.

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The article recounted what it called frequent racial conflicts in American cities and statistics showing that blacks ''are still at the bottom of the American social ladder.''

''In many fields the treatment of other minorities, such as American Indians and Hispanic and Asian immigrants, is even worse than that of the blacks,'' the article added.

Along with its repression of even minimal dissent, China has also long been assailed by Western nations and international human rights groups for suppressing ethnic minorities, the most restive of which are Tibetans, Mongolians and Turkic Muslims.

But Beijing routinely denies even documented abuses, blaming unrest in minority regions on foreign subversion and smalls groups of separatists.

Although China's official media are under standing orders to restrict coverage of unrest abroad, reflecting fears of inciting people at home, the state-run press has eagerly reported the use of the U.S. military and armored vehicles in Los Angeles.

Chinese propaganda officials likely see the depiction of such force as a way to counteract the worldwide outcry at China's use of tanks and troops to put down the spring 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

The three-year anniversary of the Beijing violence is approaching on June 3, and the government has warned it will not tolerate a repeat of the demonstrations.

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