Guest Opinion: The state of human rights should be determined by reality, not fallacy-Xinhua

Guest Opinion: The state of human rights should be determined by reality, not fallacy

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-03-27 22:45:45

by Xin Ping

Recently, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) released its report on China's human rights. As much as China prepared a wealth of information for the CESCR review and sent a large delegation to answer questions in an open and frank manner, Concluding Observations of the CESCR still cited false information and rumors on issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet.

This time, as before, the false accusations against China are not only rejected by China, but also refuted by quite a number of developing countries and NGOs at the recent General Debate of the 52nd Regular Session of Human Rights Council. While some rich countries keep repeating the cliche of alleged poor human rights situation in developing countries, delegates of many developing countries expressed their appreciation clearly for the development of human rights in China.

Undeniably, China's human rights progress speaks for itself. As some may have never heard, from the early 1990s to 2016, terrorism was a lingering nightmare in Xinjiang. Terrorists and extremists plotted and carried out thousands of explosions, assassinations, poisonings, arson, attacks and other violent crimes, resulting in casualties of innocent people including pregnant women and children, the sacrifice of hundreds of police and incalculable property damage. People visiting Xinjiang at that time were told not to go out alone or at night. In the face of the grave and complex counter-terrorism situation, Xinjiang has taken a host of decisive, robust and effective deradicalization measures.

Through the efforts of people of all ethnic groups, including the Uyghurs, Xinjiang has seen no violent terrorist incidents since 2016. Nowadays, Xinjiang enjoys sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, better living standards, and thriving cultures like never before. Local workers of all ethnic groups choose their professions according to their own will. Last year, before the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued the so-called assessment on Xinjiang, more than 60 countries, nearly 1,000 non-governmental organizations from across the world and people from various walks of life in Xinjiang have written to the High Commissioner to voice their opposition.

As for Tibet, over the past 70 years or so, Tibet has emerged from the shadow of serfdom and embarked on a path of modernization. Nowadays, Tibet has eradicated extreme poverty and enjoys a stable social environment, and economic and cultural prosperity. Tibetans, from children to the elderly, embrace the modern life while retaining their own religion, customs and language. Recently, a video clip went viral on social media showing a traffic policewoman stopping the passing vehicles to give way to a Tibetan who was performing full-body prostration. Many netizens left comments that, "this is the true freedom of religion," "if the Tibetan did so in a Western country, he would probably be locked up in prison."

To those who still harbor prejudice against Xinjiang and Tibet, the Chinese Association for International Understanding's questioning at the General Debate of the 52nd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council is the best response -- "have you ever been to Xinjiang or Tibet? Have you seen the local people and the smiles on their faces?"

In Hong Kong, local residents report a living experience diametrically different from the picture painted by the CESCR report. Perhaps it is difficult for many people to imagine that, in 2019, just four years ago, Fu Guohao, a reporter with the Global Times, was tied up with zip ties on his wrists and ankles and beaten by radical protesters at the Hong Kong airport while on normal reporting duties. Fu was imprisoned and abused for up to 50 minutes that night, and died in 2021 at the age of 30 after suffering depression.

Not only that, the radical protesters set fires in public places, threw bricks at police stations, and poured suspected corrosive liquids at police officers, which seriously disrupted law and order of Hong Kong and undermined the human rights of Hong Kong police and people. However, the radical protesters were glorified as a "beautiful sight" by the West. Western politicians sang the praises of a chaotic Hong Kong, while Hong Kong residents were living in fear and despair.

Fortunately, since the promulgation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has soon ushered in greater security and restored social order with the legitimate exercise of the freedom of expression unaffected. A street poll in Hong Kong also showed that 71.9 percent of the respondents believe that the rule of law has been restored after the implementation of the National Security Law. According to the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index, Hong Kong ranked 19th out of 139 in 2021, close to the United Kingdom (16th) and Singapore (17th).

As can be easily seen, many of the Concluding Observations' accusations against China are clearly and factually incorrect. In fact, the lectures and suggestions offered by the UN human rights bodies are increasingly challenged by developing countries in recent years. At the ongoing 52nd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council alone, South Sudan have accused the UN's country report of lacking facts and undermining its sovereignty and efforts, and a number of countries also called for professional and respectful cooperation between the international institution and the state.

No country can claim that its human rights situation is perfect, but what we should do is to keep filling the lacunae and improving the status quo. Lies and unaccountable organizations only deteriorate the hard-won stability in the developing world and stall efforts to improve human rights. The CESCR review should return to its original purpose of helping countries better implement their duties and make more progress in protecting economic, social and cultural rights, and not the other way around.

Editor's note: Xin Ping is a commentator on international affairs, writing regularly for CGTN, Global Times, Xinhua News Agency, etc. He can be reached at

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Xinhua News Agency.