Beijing described jail sentences given to 4 human rightsactivists as 'politically motivated'.
BEIJING: China today lashed out at the US for describingjail sentences given to four human rights activists as "politicallymotivated", saying American accusations are groundless andconstituted interference in its internal affairs.
"The US accusations are groundless and China urged the UnitedStates to respect the facts, speak and act cautiously, and stopmaking irresponsible remarks on the case," Foreign Ministryspokesperson Hua Chunying said.
She said that China firmly opposes American interference in itsinternal affairs and judicial sovereignty.
Hua was commenting on the remarks made by US State Departmentdeputy spokesperson Mark Toner concerning the conviction of fourChinese human rights activists.
Toner had said the charges against the activists were "vague andapparently politically motivated" and urged Chinese officials torelease the detainees and remove restrictions on their freedom ofmovement and professional activities.
"China is a country under the rule of law, and Chinese judicialauthorities deal with related cases in accordance with law so thatthe legitimate rights and interests of defendants could beeffectively protected," Hua was quoted as saying by the state-runXinhua news agency.
She claimed that Chinese people widely supported the trial andgenerally oppose any actions that endanger the national securityand undermine the social stability. A court in Tianjin hadconvicted them for subverting state power after serial trials inthe past four days.
Of the four, Hu Shigen, described by the state media as an illegalchurch leader, got the longest prison term of seven and half years.He is the eldest at 61 and had engaged in state power subversionsince the 1990s, Xinhua said.
All of them accepted the charges and expressed remorse, itsaid.