Xi stresses China's human rights progress, warns certain countries not to lecture others, politicize human rights issues in video meeting with Bachelet
Published: May 25, 2022 12:54 PM
Michelle Bachelet Photo: Courtesy of Embassy of Chile in Beijing
Michelle Bachelet Photo: Courtesy of Embassy of Chile in Beijing


Chinese President Xi Jinping met with UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet via video link on Wednesday, during which Xi talked about major issues on China's human rights developments and stressed that each country should be allowed to explore suitable paths of human rights development based on national realities and warned against certain countries that lecture others on human rights, politicize the issue and use it as a tool to apply double standards.  

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Bachelet is staying in China's Guangdong Province and is scheduled to visit Northwest China's Xinjiang region. Bachelet's trip is the first to China by a UN high commissioner for human rights since 2005. 

During their video meeting on Wednesday, President Xi welcomed Bachelet to China. He stressed that from the very first day of the founding of the CPC, it has made seeking the happiness for the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation its mission.

Xi said that with long arduous efforts, China has blazed a path on human rights development that is consistent with the trend of the times and suits the nation's conditions. China has been advancing whole-process people's democracy, promoting legal safeguard for human rights and upholding social equity and justice. 

The Chinese people now enjoy fuller and more extensive and comprehensive democratic rights. The human rights of the Chinese people are guaranteed like never before, the Chinese president noted.

No one can claim to be perfect in human rights protection; there is always room for improvement. China is ready to actively conduct human rights dialogue and cooperation with all other parties to expand common understanding, reduce differences, promote mutual learning, seek progress together, and jointly advance the international human rights cause for the greater benefit of people across the world, Xi said. 

He also noted four priorities to work on. First, putting people front and center. It is important to take the people's interests as the fundamental purpose and goal, make continuous efforts to address the most pressing and immediate issues that concern the people the most, and strive to deliver a better life to the people. 

How a country is doing on human rights is essentially gauged by whether the interests of its people are upheld, and whether they enjoy a growing sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. The people should become the true masters of their countries and the main participants, contributors and beneficiaries of human rights development, he said.  

Second, respecting different countries' paths of human rights development. With different national conditions, histories, cultures, social systems and levels of economic and social development, countries should and can only explore suitable paths of human rights development in light of national realities and people's needs, Chinese president said. 

To copy the system from other countries without considering the reality would bring disastrous results and the people would bear the brunt, he stressed. 

Xi also mentioned the importance of following a holistic approach to all categories of human rights. To developing countries, the rights to subsistence and development are the primary human rights. 

Xi also stressed the need to step up global human rights governance. When it comes to human rights issues, there is no such thing as a flawless utopia; countries do not need patronizing lecturers; still less should human rights issues be politicized and used as a tool to apply double standards, or as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, Xi noted. 

China will support the UN and make active efforts to promote international human rights cause, said Xi.

Bachelet extended thanks to Xi for receiving her visit despite the COVID challenge as this is the first visit of a UN human rights chief in 17 years. 

The UN human rights chief said she attached great importance to her visit and cherished this opportunity, noting she will have extensive engagements and direct communication with the Chinese government and people across different sectors. She added that this visit will help her to better understand China.

Bachelet also expressed admiration to China's efforts on eliminating poverty, protecting human rights and realizing economic and social development as well as its efforts on upholding multilateralism, confronting global challenges such as climate change, and promoting sustainable development across the world. 

The UN human rights office is willing to work with China to enhance communication and make joint efforts to promote global human rights cause, said Bachelet.