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

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

Al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs