Western view of Chinese women’s rights ‘groundless’

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2015-9-29 1:28:01

Chinese people are in the best position to judge women's rights development in the nation, said the Chinese delegation to the United Nations summit on Sunday, hitting back at Western accusation against the nation's women's rights.

"We have noticed that some individuals or entities have expressed their views on Chinese women's rights development. Some made groundless views or showed a lack of understanding," Li Junhua, director general of the department of international organizations and conferences at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a Sunday press conference in New York.

The response came after former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton called Chinese President Xi Jinping "shameless." Xi on Sunday co-chaired the UN summit of world leaders on gender equality and women's empowerment.

"Xi hosting a meeting on women's rights at the UN while persecuting feminists? Shameless," Clinton wrote on Twitter, attaching the link to a New York Times story about five Chinese feminist activists who were arrested in March to the post.

"Clinton's accusation came as a short-sighted attempt to distract the public, as she has been plagued by the e-mail scandal, which may become an obstacle to her campaign for the presidential election in 2016. The aggressive term might have also been aimed at winning support from some radical voters," Sun Chenghao, an expert with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

"The arrest was not because they promoted the women's rights development, but because they have violated Chinese laws," Li explained, stressing that the whole nation is in full support of protecting women's rights.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hong Lei also told a daily briefing on Monday that China attaches great significance to women empowerment and has made positive contributions to the international women's cause through concrete domestic measures to promote women's rights.

The five activists were reportedly arrested right before Women's Day this year when they had planned to stage a protest against sexual harassment on public buses. All were released one month later with no further official information regarding their arrest. "The government does not oppose to the anti-sexual harassment issue," said blogger Chen Yaya, an expert with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, on March 29. Chen added that the authorities, however, stood firmly against those in alliance with their foreign counterparts to challenge the leadership of All-China Women's Federation, a government-related organization  to protect women's rights.

Posted in: Diplomacy

blog comments powered by Disqus