Politics causes human rights frictions

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/12/10 22:03:40

A local resident dances to the music at a tea house in the ancient city of Kashgar, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, July 7, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

Human Rights Day fell on Tuesday this year, in which the US-led Western world has unprecedentedly attacked China on its human rights record. They have let values dominate their perceptions of China, which are devoid of reality and China's voice.

Western media outlets have preset their narrative in reports about the vocational education and training centers in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and refused to accept the reasons Xinjiang has to do so and the positive effects brought about by the training centers. They have been obsessed with moral criticism while the situation in Xinjiang has greatly improved.

The unrest sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill in Hong Kong had nothing to do with human rights, but countries including the US and the UK have defined the escalating chaos from the human rights angle, putting US geopolitical intentions under a moral veneer. Chinese society cannot accept that.

Such being the case, China has been severely dampened from interactions with the West in terms of human rights. China has to focus on its own business and resist the West's human rights attacks.

Human rights systems in China and the West have different focuses, but they are not against each other. The frictions and even confrontations are caused by political factors, and the West should take much of the blame for this. They are way too self-centered, refusing to acknowledge the reality that China's logic and path of developing human rights can hardly be Westernized. Countries like the US even utilize human rights as diplomatic and geopolitical levers. They lack basic respect for China in terms of human rights.

Chinese society does not reject most of the human rights concepts of the US and the West, but an increasing number of Chinese people have realized that it is unrealistic for China to prioritize and pursue Western human rights standards. They may create an adverse impact on China's socioeconomic development, and sustainable development is a prerequisite for improving human rights.

China does hope to develop its society and enhance the West-emphasized human rights in a coordinated manner. But Western forces have repeatedly harassed such a balanced development of China. They have denied China's human rights construction, and imposed their values on specific matters, forcing China to fight back.

Except for the Cold War era, mainstream US and Western public opinion has been criticizing China's human rights situation almost every year. Such criticisms run counter to common sense. Most Chinese people give no heed to their attacks.

While Washington views the human rights issue as a major way to pressure China, it seems that Chinese society can hardly acquire something constructive from this pressure. The two sides were supposed to hold dialogues, but are now engaged in "battles" in this regard.

The context of China's development of human rights is quite complex, with external factors intervening. We cannot cater to the standards and concerns of the West, but should focus on addressing the most urgent concerns of the Chinese people. 

For a developing country, people's livelihood and a fair system must be the major issues in China's development of human rights. But this process does not contrast with the values of human rights in the West.

Can China and the West form a constructive relationship on human rights? Such a relationship could only be achieved through struggles, which means the two sides learn from and integrate with each other amid frictions and conflicts.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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