Sun Peisong and Yang Ganfu
The true forerunner of human rights discourse was the concept of natural rights, which appeared as part of the medieval natural law tradition that became prominent during the European enlightenment. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the 20th century. Human rights include economic, social, cultural rights, civil and political rights. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others.
The above concepts of human rights tell clearly, what human rights entail. However, human rights groups (including some Western politicians) adopt a politically biased view of human rights, smearing the holy name of human rights. They condemn the Chinese governments of abusing human rights in Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong. A number of human-rights groups sent a joint letter to IOC President, claiming that China’s human-rights situation called for its withdrawal from hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. It was also reported that a number of human rights organizations had sent open letters to the secretary general of the United Nations and the United Nations high commissioner for human rights calling for the establishment of international mechanisms to address human rights violations by the Chinese governments.
China has long been seen as having an autocratic, corrupt, disrespectful government and contempt for human rights by some human rights groups and Western politicians. However, China surely does not accept their human rights hype with a biased political background and their fact-devoid accusations. Independent polls conducted around the world by the Pew Research Center and Harvard university, as well as the 2020 global trust survey published by public relations consultancy Edelman in July 2020, demonstrate that Chinese citizens have the highest approval ratings for China’s ruling party and the Chinese governments, averaging more than 90%. How could the Chinese governments win the continuous support and approvals of their people if they are the violators of Chinese human rights as claimed by human right groups.
Following the adoption of the Universal Declaration of human rights in 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the whole world has undertaken meaningful actions to put human rights into practice. China fully supports the search for a world in which fundamental human rights are respected and a wide range of human rights are not violated. But it appears that the West takes a biased view of human rights with double standards thereof.
During the war on terror, the United States used drones and missiles to kill ‘terrorists’, and even to use weapons that could instantly destroy all living things within a few kilometers, known as the mother of bombs GBU-43/B as a just move. Recently Biden justified the airstrike of Syria saying he was using his authority to deter attacks on US and allied personnel in Iraq. The questions are: How the US and its allied personnel end up in Iraq? Is it also freedom of movement? Or is it an invasion and violation of the Iraqi people’s human right? Why do human rights groups maintain collective silence?
However, when the Chinese governments educated terrorists/criminals into law-abiding citizens through education/correctional institutes in Xinjiang, almost all Western countries believed that China violated human rights, even accusing China of genocide. A simple question is: How does ‘genocide’ result in the Xinjiang population doubled? Again, they call those who damaged, destroyed public and private infrastructures/properties and destabilized social and political order in Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters while they strongly and hysterically condemn China of abusing the human rights of the protesters. Again, a question must be answered: How did the human rights groups react to the US White House rioting?
After the outbreak of Covid-19, the Chinese governments took strict and responsible measures to control the epidemic and quickly restored economic and social order. However, the West criticized China’s practice of blocking cities to save lives and restricting the movement of individuals. Then what contributed to the millions of death of the Western countries citizens in the pandemic? Is this a good example of human rights flagship? Can Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch explain why they failed to accuse such violation of human rights to life as 17th-century English philosopher John Locke claimed?
Four million people are homeless in the United States, and neither the western governments nor human rights organizations consider themselves responsible to accuse this human rights violation (rights to shelter). In a society of individualism and individual success, the issue of the rich and the poor is a simply individual business. The Chinese governments, however, believe it is their responsibility and liability to eliminate poverty in China. China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty, achieving the grand goal of poverty alleviation in 2020. This is a true flagship of human rights observation, winning piles of praise from the international community.
In the years leading up to the turn of the century, and in the eyes of human rights agents, human rights were superior to sovereignty; interference in support of human rights was not only legitimate but also necessary. Under the pretext of humanitarian intervention, the United States (and its allies) have applied its armed forces to eradicate a number of so-called human rights violators, notably Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1995), Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2002), Iraq (2003) and Libya and Syria, among others. In the Western eyes, the people in these places are electing their governments through one-person-one-vote. Nevertheless, the questions are: are the people in these places happier than they were before the intervention? What do human rights groups use to persuade and convince the Chinese public to accept their biased standards of universal human rights? Don’t they know that war propaganda is against human rights? Don’t they know the politicians who declared all the wars resulting in millions and millions of civilian deaths are the biggest violators of human rights?
Today, the Chinese enjoy the right to work in just and favourable conditions; the right to social protection, to an adequate standard of living and the highest attainable standards of physical and mental well being and the right to education and the enjoyment of benefits of cultural freedom and scientific progress.
The complaints against and attack on China by the human rights groups will not deprive China of confidence in its human rights practices.