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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid