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

Analyst: Joint-Arab Military Force Poses Perilous Challenge

Although international forces are desperately needed to counter the threat of the Islamic State group, analysts say conflicting alliances could escalate fighting More

Asia’s Middle Class Changes Demand for Wheat Grain Exporters

Changes in tastes and diets are boon for wheat exporters such as Australia and the United States More

S. African Comedian Taking Over Popular TV Show

Mixed-race comedian Trevor Noah, who is loved for his edgy jibes about race and language, is taking the helm from Jon Stewart at The Daily Show in US 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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