The United States’ confrontational attitude toward China on human rights serves only its national interests, and it also harms global governance and the cause of international human rights, China’s top human rights researchers, Liu Hainian, director of the human rights research center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.
In a news conference in Beijing on Monday that was organized by State Council Information Office, four human rights researchers from think tanks and a university criticized the US for duplicity on the human rights issue.
The US, 10 other Western countries and Japan released a joint statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council on Thursday. The statement expressed their concerns over what it called “the deteriorating human rights record” in China, saying that Beijing has not only contravened its own laws but also breached its commitments to the international community.
Liu Hainian, director of the human rights research center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the US is selectively blind to its own human rights problems, as well those of its allies, in racial and gender discrimination, gun violence, the treatment of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay military detention facility and illegal monitoring of citizens’ private activities.
“The US’ invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and its subversive movements in North Africa and the Middle East, directly harm local residents’ human rights,” said Liu.
The UN replaced the former Commission on Human Rights with the current Human Rights Council in 2006 to promote joint efforts in human rights protection and to avoid politicizing such efforts. Since then, the US has attempted 11 times to pass an anti-China resolution in the council. But all of these attempts have failed because of opposition from most member states.
‘Cold War mindset’
“The US regards human rights as a political and diplomatic tool to realize its own purposes, as it did toward the Soviet Union after World War II,” said Chang Jian, director of the human rights research center at Nankai University in Tianjin. “The Cold War strategy and mindset are outdated. The decline of its national power, especially in comparison with China, makes the US decision-makers nervous and they resort to their old tricks,” Chang added.
Liu Huawen, a researcher of international law at CASS, said, “China is committed to peaceful development, constantly improving its human rights conditions and strengthening dialogue and cooperation with the other countries on human rights.
“But the US stands on the wrong side of history,” he added. “What it wants is confrontation. The US has not yet signed some UN treaties in protecting children’s, women’s and disabled people’s rights. It is ridiculous that it still plays the role of a judge of international human rights.”
Li Yunlun, a professor of international studies at the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC, said: “China faces up to its problems in human rights. China’s poverty alleviation project will help the poorest citizens, and the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), if it comes true, will see comprehensive progress in China’s human rights.
– (China Daily)
A face-off like this forebodes a tough time ahead, and risks throwing the China-West dialogue on human rights back to its starting point.
Protecting human rights does not mean endowing those disturbing China’s political order with the privilege of immunity from the law.
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