Home OPINIONS China restates its objective stand on human rights

China restates its objective stand on human rights

Human rights is one of the most controversial topics in the world today, depending on one’s side of the geopolitical divide. Basically, Western countries have taken it upon themselves to decide who is abusing these rights and dictating how countries should govern their people.

While human rights are basically universal, there is no yardstick by which to measure abuse. Each situation calls for different solutions and what might be anathema to one party might be culturally right for another.

Channel 1

For long, the West has often baselessly accused China of human rights abuse of so called democracy activists and some minorities. These political statements have been used as a strategy to interfere in the country’s internal affairs in order to sabotage its socio-economic and political stability and progress.

The process of Chinese modernisation is also a process of advancement in human rights. As President Xi Jinping has stated before, China will follow a Chinese path of human rights development, actively participate in global human rights governance, and promote all-round development of human rights. China has found a path of human rights development that meets the trend of the times and suits its national conditions. This path holds the key to the country’s historic achievements in human rights.

In his speech at the high-level segment of the 55th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 26, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi noted that protecting and promoting human rights is a common cause for all humanity.

He observed that currently, the world is becoming more turbulent, crises and conflicts keep flaring up, and deficit in global human rights governance is widening. The ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict has cost the lives of nearly 30,000 civilians, and left close to two million people displaced. The situation is indeed saddening. It falls upon the entire international community to protect the human rights of all ethnic groups and all people in a fair, equal and effective way.

“We must put people first. Safeguarding people’s interests must be the basis and goal of the human rights cause. People’s right to survival and development should be protected as a priority and pursued with a greater sense of urgency,” stated Wang.

He asked the international community to uphold fairness and justice, stand against the attempts to use human rights as a pretext to interfere with other countries’ internal affairs or curb others’ development. Countries must oppose acts of hegemony and power politics, and reject the practice of double standards.

Countries must stay open and inclusive, respect the diversity of world civilizations, and respect all countries’ right to independently choose their paths to human rights development. Countries should not impose their own values or development models on others, still less creating small blocs and aligning against those with different views.

Countries must also pursue cooperation that benefits all. Consensus should be built through dialogue, and mutual learning enhanced through exchanges. Human rights must be protected and promoted by ensuring security, advancing development and enhancing cooperation. Emerging issues, such as the relationship between artificial intelligence and human rights, must be properly handled.

Human rights bodies in the UN should carry out their work in a fair and objective manner, follow a non-selective and non-politicized approach, and place equal emphasis on all types of human rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, civil and political rights. Multilateral human rights bodies should serve as platforms for constructive engagement and cooperation for all sides, rather than a battleground for group politics or bloc confrontation.

Wang said that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have all along endeavoured to deliver a better life for the Chinese people and advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The CPC has made substantive progress in advancing China’s human rights cause, and found a path to human rights development that is in line with the trend of the times and consistent with the country’s national conditions.

China has permanently eradicated absolute poverty once and for all, bringing moderate prosperity in all respects to the 1.4 billion-plus Chinese people. The country has made sustained efforts to advance whole-process people’s democracy, providing more robust guarantee for ensuring the people’s right to run the country. The government has established the world’s largest education, social security and health care systems, giving its citizens a greater sense of accomplishment, happiness and security.

China is home to 56 ethnic groups. People of different ethnicities and communities are equal in enjoying human rights. With a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation, the 56 ethnic groups are sticking together like the seeds of a pomegranate.

As a responsible major country, China plays an active part in global human rights governance, and contributed efforts to the conclusion of a series of important international conventions and declarations on human rights. The vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind represents a shared aspiration of people of all countries. It also injects strong impetus into human rights protection worldwide.

Human rights protection is an ongoing process. There is always room for improvement. China is now working to deliver the fruits of modernisation to its population in a more substantive and equitable way, and raising the level of human rights protection.

Said Wang: “As our future is closely tied to that of people around the world, we will actively champion the common values of humanity, and work with all sides to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make new contributions to the healthy development of the global human rights cause.”



Stephen Ndegwa
+ posts