FM urges West not to politicize human rights after joint statement

Source:Global Times - Xinhua Published: 2016-3-12 0:41:27

China on Friday voiced opposition to a joint declaration from 12 countries criticizing China's recent alleged crackdown on some lawyers and human rights activists, telling them to stop politicizing the issue.

"The US and a few countries openly criticize China under the excuse of human rights and has severely infringed on China's domestic affairs and judicial sovereignty and violated the spirit of the rule of law. China is firmly against it and will never accept it," Hong Lei, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, told reporters at a Friday press conference.

The remarks came after a joint statement, released by the US and 11 other countries, including the UK, Japan and Australia, on Thursday scolded China over alleged crackdown on some lawyers and human rights activists. It also expressed alarm at several Hong Kong booksellers who reportedly "disappeared" but later were confirmed to be "helping police" in the mainland.

China's deputy permanent representative to the UN Office at Geneva, Fu Cong, on Thursday also stressed the need to depoliticize the human rights forum so as to safeguard the Human Rights Council (HRC)'s integrity.

"We must maintain the credibility and authority of the international human rights mechanisms and reverse the current trend to politicize human rights," the Xinhua News Agency quoted Fu as saying.

Hong added that China is a country of rule of law and China's judiciary deals with cases legally and guarantees the rights of suspects.

"China attaches great importance to promoting human rights and has made remarkable achievements," he said.

Chinese observers have cited poverty relief efforts and the anti-graft campaign as major achievements in the nation's human rights progress.

China has made great progress in human rights, especially in education, public health and women's rights, but has failed to properly publicize such achievements, remarked Wu Hailong, former permanent representative of China to the UN at Geneva, also a member of National Committee of the 12th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Western countries, which hold different political systems and ideologies, often pressure developing countries on human rights issues, but China also needs to release timely reports with abundant information on some human rights cases, otherwise the Western media would hype doubts and misunderstandings, Wu told the Global Times in an earlier interview during the ongoing annual sessions of the country's legislative and advisory bodies.

The HRC, which was established 10 years ago, was designed to change the antagonistic actions in the past and strength cooperation and coordination between countries on human rights, Hong noted.

It is against the spirit and principle of the UN Charter for those countries to provoke confrontations, which will not meet any sides' interests, said the spokesperson.

"There is no human development path that fits all countries, so each country is entitled to proceed from its own conditions to develop human rights. We suggest some countries reflect on and correct its own problems in human rights and stop politicizing the issue," Hong said.

Fu cited what he said was rampant prison abuse in the US, especially in the Guantanamo facility, while deploring the widespread gun violence and deep-rooted racism in the country.

Fu also criticized the large-scale eavesdropping carried out by US authorities, drone attacks killing innocent civilians and the conduct of US troops on foreign soil.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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