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

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

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