News / Asia

China’s Human Rights Record Challenged at UN

Wu Hailong, special envoy of China's foreign ministry, addresses the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review session at the United Nations in Geneva on October 22, 2013.
Wu Hailong, special envoy of China's foreign ministry, addresses the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review session at the United Nations in Geneva on October 22, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
China has made a spirited defense of its human rights record, which is under review at the U.N. Human Rights Council.  While admitting some shortcomings Tuesday, the Chinese delegation told the 47-member U.N. body that Beijing has made many improvements in promoting and protecting the rights of its citizens.

China’s human rights record is under review for the second time under the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).  Under this procedure, the U.N. Human Rights Council examines each nation’s record once every four years.  

The last time China came under the human rights spotlight in 2009, Beijing accepted 42 recommendations made by other countries in attendance.  In his statement to the council Tuesday, the head of the Chinese delegation acknowledged that not all of these recommendations have been implemented.  However, he said his country has made great strides.

Special envoy for China’s foreign ministry Wu Hailong said China is a huge country of 1.3 billion people and its 56 ethnic groups faced many difficulties.  But he said over the past four years his country has achieved a more prosperous economy, and improved democracy and the rule of law.  

Speaking through an interpreter, Ambassador Wu said the Chinese government has strengthened the judicial system and increased protections of ethnic minorities.


“My government also ensures that minority ethnic groups in China enjoy extensive human rights.  They participate in the management of state and local affairs as equals with the Han ethnic group.  The ratio of leading officials with ethnic background is growing in ethnic minority area(s)," said Wu. "Their freedom of religious belief and the right to use and develop their spoken and written languages are fully respected and guaranteed.  State investment in ethnic minority areas has kept expanding.” 
 

Tibet Activists China Human RightsTibet Activists China Human Rights
x
Tibet Activists China Human Rights
Tibet Activists China Human Rights
During the course of the hearing Tuesday, many Western countries accused China of arresting activists, curbing freedom of expression, including the use of the Internet, and suppressing ethnic minorities.


Before the U.N. council began its review, a group of five Tibetan activists scaled the U.N. building and unfurled a banner that said “China fails human rights in Tibet -- U.N. stand up for Tibet.”

A senior program officer for Human Rights in China, Shiwei Ye, told VOA the Chinese government implements very severe and restrictive policies on political and civil rights, as well as on social, economic and cultural rights.

Despite these concerns, he noted that since the last UPR in 2009, there has been a continued explosion of citizen activism in China that gives him hope that things will change for the better.

“Of course ,on the other hand, there is a serious crackdown ongoing.  But. despite the crackdown, citizens are becoming less afraid to speak out.  And, because they are less afraid, the government is growing more afraid of its own citizens.  So, we hope that China will stop being afraid of its own citizens and start listening to them and start working with citizens to address their legitimate grievances because this is key to sustainable development and the healthy development of the rule of law in China,” said Ye.

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Wu said that China was aware of the many difficulties and challenges it faced in promoting and protecting human rights.  But, he added his government was sure that by creating a prosperous society, China also would witness even greater achievements in human rights.
 

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: anonymous from: China
October 22, 2013 11:10 PM
China is full of unfairs, and the Party is the biggest gangland!

by: Dolph from: Vancouver
October 22, 2013 9:19 PM
They do this dance every year and it's as rehearsed as a Broadway show. The West condemns China for their human rights (thus shutting up the activists in their countries), China retaliates "No no no no". The West replies "yes yes yes yes". China rebuts "No no no no" And then it's over. We go back to business as usual, have their children make our iPhones and DVD players and pretend that the whole rhetoric made some kind of difference. - posted from my iPhone

by: Mark from: NY
October 22, 2013 7:56 PM
China has been turning back in terms of human rights since Xi Jinping came to power. No freedom of speech. Xi Jinping is trying to reuse Mao Zedong's autocracy to control the country by Obscurantism.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More