British scholar defends China's human rights

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-6-12 14:13:47

British scholar John Ross has recently defended China's human rights situation in an opinion piece and hailed the achievements China has made in this regard.

John Ross is senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He used to be director of Economic and Business Policy for the Mayor of London.

His opinion piece, which was published by the Global Times on June 4, came after the US House of Representatives chose to debate a resolution expressing its concern over the issue of "human rights" in China on May 28. Ross said that this makes it appropriate to make a comparison of the real records of the US and China on human rights.

In the article, Ross said that this is a vital issue as human well-being is certainly the sole goal of any correct policy -- including in that the right of each nation to pursue its national sovereignty and national culture, which is why China's "national revival" and overall human progress are inseparably linked.

Real human beings have an immense number of needs and desires ranging from basic ones, to have good health and enough to eat, through to the most complex -- the most advanced fields of human culture or science. Objectively only extremely developed societies, with enormous economic and social resources, can even approximate to meeting all these needs, the article said. (

If the real meaning of the term "human rights" is used it is evident that China has the best human rights record in the world -- and those words are carefully chosen, according to Ross.

He explained that China has lifted more than 630 million people out of poverty -- more than the entire population of the European Union or the continent of Latin America, and almost twice the population of the US China has brought social security protection to 820 million people, and health care to over 1 billion. China is responsible for 100 percent of the reduction of the number of people living in poverty in the world.

No other country in the world has achievements remotely matching these for the real well-being of humanity, Ross said.

What is particularly striking is the factual contrast between what China has achieved and the laughable claim of the US to a superior "human rights" record, according to the opinion piece.

It pointed out that in the world outside China the number of people living in poverty in an economic system dominated by the US has, according to international criteria defined by the World Bank, increased in the last 30 years. The United States has waged a series of aggressive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed -- not to speak of its earlier war in Vietnam in which it killed 3 million people.

The article also said that even leaving aside the economic realities, in the purely political sphere, since World War II the US has -- as the US commentator William Blum noted -- dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries; attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected; and attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.

According to Ross, these facts establish beyond doubt that the problem for the US government about China is not "human rights" -- if China were an authoritarian regime supporting the US it would not be criticised. He said that the real problem about China for US neo-cons and their followers is that China's national revival makes it strong.

Instead of complaining, the US House of Representatives would be well advised to pass a resolution congratulating China for its unequalled contribution to human well-being in lifting over 600 million people out of poverty, establishing an enquiry to find out why US supported economic policies in the rest of the world have made no such contribution to human rights, and publicly apologizing for the hundreds of thousands of people it has killed in its wars -- including the thousands of ordinary US soldiers who died in them, the opinion piece said.

Ross drew the conclusion that only when it does that will the US House of Representatives begin to understand the real issues involved in human rights for real people of the real world.

Posted in: Europe

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