News / Asia

China to Appear Before UN Human Rights Council

FILE - Overview of the U.N. Human Rights Council during the emergency debate on human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria, at the United Nations in Geneva, February 28, 2012.
FILE - Overview of the U.N. Human Rights Council during the emergency debate on human rights and humanitarian situation in Syria, at the United Nations in Geneva, February 28, 2012.
VOA News
Chinese officials will appear before a United Nations panel to defend their country's human rights record, which many say is stained by a worsening crackdown on dissent.

The Tuesday session in Geneva will be the second time Beijing has reported to the Human Rights Council, which reviews the rights record of each country every four years.

The hearing comes amid a series of arrests of Chinese rights activists, including some who were trying to participate in the government's report to the so-called Universal Periodic Review.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the Chinese delegation is looking forward to a "candid discussion" on human rights, but warned it will only accept certain types of criticism.

"In Geneva, China will give the truth of our efforts and progress in human rights, and we look forward to constructive criticism. We will kindly accept the constructive criticisms and work towards a better state for Chinese human rights. But we do not welcome the 'maligned criticisms,'" said Chunying.

The debate offers a chance for foreign diplomats to air their complaints about China's rights record in a public setting, in the presence of Chinese officials, who will also be invited to give a presentation.

At the council's first review of China in 2009, Beijing rejected virtually every recommendation from U.N. member states except for those calling for the general promotion of human rights.

China, the world's most populous country, claims it is making progress on human rights but that it should not be held to the same standard as more developed countries.

It views criticism of its rights record as inappropriate interference in its internal affairs, despite having signed international treaties guaranteeing freedom of speech and other fundamental human rights.

In the leadup to the U.N. hearing, Chinese authorities have arbitrarily detained dozens of activists, jailed government critics, and increased online censorship.

In a statement released on Monday, Human Rights Watch called the recent period "one of China's major crackdowns on activists and free expression."

Specifically, the New York-based group raised concerns about the forced disappearance of Cao Shunli, a prominent activist who was trying to convince the government to allow independent civil society groups to take part in the U.N. review.

Cao has not been seen since September 14, when she was interrogated and detained at the Beijing airport. She was one of several Chinese activists prevented from flying to Geneva for a workshop on international human rights.

Under the council's rules, countries are encouraged to allow public participation in drafting their reports for the UPR. Beijing argues it has met those requirements by seeking "broad public support" on a government website.

Human Rights Watch also urged more action on issues, including China's use of torture in its criminal justice system, pervasive media censorship tools, notorious Re-Education Through Labor camps, and extensive human rights abuses in Tibetan and Uighur areas.

Critics have said these and other alleged rights violations mean China should not be allowed to serve on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Beijing has announced plans to run in a November election to fill one of the council's 47 seats for a three-year period beginning in 2014.

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid