Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China’s wisdom promotes cause for human rights

China’s wisdom promotes cause for human rights

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will work with other countries to uphold the common values of humanity – peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, to safeguard human dignity and rights. NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP

China’s wisdom promotes cause for human rights

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind offers Chinese wisdom and solutions in promoting fairer and more reasonable global human rights governance, experts said.

The vision – with the pursuit of common progress and development at its core – represents bright prospects for human rights development, and will encourage developing countries to jointly oppose double standards in international human rights, they said.

The two-day 2019 South-South Human Rights Forum, jointly hosted by the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opened in Beijing on Tuesday, Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10 every year to commemorate the day the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Lionel Vairon, CEO of CEC Consulting in Luxembourg and an expert in development strategies, said the international community should not ignore China’s progress in human rights out of an ideological misunderstanding and prejudice.

“In the future, global governance must make a choice between the policy of strong-power hegemony and the path of a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said. “The latter is the wisdom China has contributed to the world.”

Speaking in a congratulatory letter to a symposium in Beijing last year marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Xi said China will work with other countries to uphold the common values of humanity – peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, to safeguard human dignity and rights.

Meanwhile, he said, the nation stands ready to promote fairer, sounder and more inclusive global human rights governance, and to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Mao Junxiang, a professor of human rights studies at Central South University in Changsha, Hunan province, said Xi’s vision provides a solution to coping with the challenges that global governance faces amid a changing international situation, and also draws a clear picture for the development prospects of international human rights governance.

In March 2017, the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind was written into two resolutions of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In March last year, a resolution China proposed – Promoting Mutually Beneficial Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights – was adopted by the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Xi said it is important for the international community to respect and reflect the will of the people in developing countries in the spirit of justice, fairness, openness and inclusiveness. He made the comment in a message of congratulations on the opening of the first South-South Human Rights Forum in December 2017.

Saying human rights must and can only be promoted in light of specific national conditions and people’s needs, Xi called on developing countries to steadily raise the level of human rights protection.

Michael Njunga Mulikita, dean of the School of Social Sciences of Mulungushi University, Zambia, said the human rights narrative has been used by dominant developed countries to impose their own agenda on developing countries for political reasons.

“It’s important that global governance takes into account the position of developing countries. Otherwise, it becomes governance that is dominated by an elite group of countries at the expense of the large majority,” Mulikita said.

Vairon cited the example of the US’ recent adoption of a law related to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, saying the law is a new step by Washington to interfere in other countries’ domestic affairs.

“It has nothing to do with human rights. It suffices to look at the American double standard policy about the war in Yemen, and the treatment of Palestinians, Guantanamo, et cetera,” he said.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that in protecting human rights, countries should adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and respect the development path in human rights that various nations pursue of their own accord.

Politicising the human rights issue and adopting double standards on the issue must be abandoned, Hua said, adding China stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in human rights development with other countries based on equality and mutual respect.

As the world’s largest developing country, China regards development as the key to solving all problems and the primary task for the Communist Party of China in governing and rejuvenating the country.

Xi said the nation insists that the rights to subsistence and development are primary basic human rights. He made the comment in a congratulatory message in 2016 to an international symposium on the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Declaration on the Right to Development.

“China is becoming more open and confident about human rights. The changes I saw here are examples of the great improvements in the Chinese people’s rights to subsistence and development,” said Davina Sigauta Rasch, director of Corporate Service of the Ombudsman Office in Samoa, adding that China not only advances its own development but also helps other developing countries.

CHINA DAILY/XINHUA

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • No word on state of emergency

    The National Assembly (NA) said it will postpone all unnecessary meetings in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it did not say when or how it will debate the “state of emergency”

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid