China has told the US to stop preaching on human rights, after the state department's annual report on the issue criticised China. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the US should concentrate on its own rights issues and stop interfering.
Chinese authorities have launched a major crackdown on dissent recently. Unveiling the report, US officials expressed particular concern over the recent arrest of the artist Ai Weiwei, an outspoken critic of the government. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also highlighted reports of other intellectuals and activists being "arbitrarily detained" in recent weeks.
Mr Hong said China was happy to talk about rights "on the basis of equality and mutual respect", but added that Beijing "resolutely opposes" meddling in other country's affairs. "We advise the US side to reflect on its own human rights issues and not to position itself as a preacher of human rights," he said.