Di­a­logue is vi­tal to re­solve hu­man rights is­sue

China Daily (Canada) - - TORONTO -

By propos­ing to build a new­model of ma­jor­coun­try re­la­tion­ship with the US, China has shown its pos­i­tive, open and con­struc­tive at­ti­tude to­ward bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. But the US seems re­luc­tant to ac­cept the chang­ing in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion and China’s rise and ever-in­creas­ing in­flu­ence in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

The US be­lieves it has the au­thor­ity to lec­ture any other coun­try on hu­man rights by fre­quently rais­ing the is­sue. As a de­vel­oped coun­try, the US has seized the his­tor­i­cal op­por­tu­ni­ties to de­velop its econ­omy and rule of lawto a high level, and thus al­ways claims to have the most “ad­vanced” po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural prac­tices de­spite be­ing un­able to solve its com­pli­cated do­mes­tic hu­man rights prob­lems such as racial dis­crim­i­na­tion.

China is a de­vel­op­ing coun­try with a huge pop­u­la­tion and faces the com­pli­cated task of de­vel­op­ing into an all-round ad­vanced so­ci­ety. So it is not dif­fi­cult to find prob­lems and de­fi­cien­cies in the coun­try. Given these facts, the ac­cu­sa­tions against China on hu­man rights is­sues re­flect the US’ ar­ro­gance.

China has made great progress on the eco­nomic and so­cial de­vel­op­ment fronts. Its history, cul­ture and na­tional con­di­tions are suited to a de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy that en­com­passes Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics, with its high­est point be­ing the re­al­iza­tion of the Chi­nese Dream. Since China is yet to reach that goal, it faces many dif­fi­cul­ties and prob­lems on the road to fur­ther de­vel­op­ment.

Nev­er­the­less, Chi­nese peo­ple have ful­filled many other goals, gain­ing plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence and con­fi­dence in the process. As a re­sult, the Chi­nese peo­ple now share a strong belief that they should take the de­vel­op­ment road that is most suit­able to the coun­try’s con­di­tions.

Although China will fur­ther open to the out­side world and learn from other coun­tries’ ex­pe­ri­ences, it can­not be ex­pected to ac­cept any­thing that is forced on it by for­eign pow­ers.

Di­a­logue is al­ways bet­ter than con­fronta­tion. Per­haps no in­ter­na­tional lawal­lows a for­eign power to in­ter­fere in other sov­er­eign state’s in­ter­nal af­fairs. So no coun­try has the right to do so.

As the most im­por­tant co­ordi- na­tion cen­ter for in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, the UnitedNations of­fers the most hu­man rights com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion plat­forms based on in­ter­na­tional law, which also re­viewand eval­u­ate coun­tries’ per­for­mance on the hu­man rights front. For in­stance, the UN­Hu­man Rights Coun­cil pe­ri­od­i­cally re­views hu­man rights is­sues across the world, and UN Hu­man Rights Treaty bod­ies re­viewre­ports of mem­ber coun­tries on the ex­e­cu­tion of the treaty.

But the US once re­fused to join the UN­Hu­man Rights Coun­cil and has still not rat­i­fied sev­eral core UN hu­man rights treaties, in­clud­ing the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child and the Con­ven­tion on the Elim­i­na­tion of All Forms of Dis­crim­i­na­tion against Women, and in­sists on fol­low­ing its own poli­cies on the right to speech to prove it is su­pe­rior to other coun­tries. Con­sid­er­ing the huge dif­fer­ences among coun­tries and theUS’ end­less do­mes­tic hu­man rights chal­lenges, theUS is noth­ing but over-con­fi­dent about its own be­liefs and prac­tices.

Hu­man rights will con­tinue to be one of the key top­ics in Sino-US re­la­tions, and di­a­logues and dif­fer­ences at dif­fer­ent lev­els will con­tinue. It is hoped that the two great pow­ers will chart a new­path and set a newex­am­ple of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion on hu­man rights is­sues.

The au­thor is deputy di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter forHu­man Rights Stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

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