The US State Department on Thursday published its annual report on human rights, listing China alongside Syria, Iran and North Korea as one of the nations where conditions remain “extremely poor,” the Financial Times reported. The report said that conditions in China had “deteriorated” this year, in contrast to last year’s report which cited a “negative trend.” It was more optimistic about political changes taking place in Myanmar, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, though it warned it would take time to build democracies in the Middle East. The document was also highly critical of conditions in Uzbekistan and Bahrain. The annual report is a regular source of friction between Washington and Beijing. In recent years, China has taken to publishing its own report on human rights conditions in the US.