China says its human rights are at a ‘historic best’

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China human rightsChina says its human rights are at a “historic best”, yet Uzra Zeya, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labour, disagrees. The US official said the rights situation is worsening, citing that there have been an increased number of crackdowns on activists and lawyers.

“We have continued to see a deterioration in the overall human rights situation,” Zeya stated in Kunming at the 18th annual US-China Human Rights Dialogue in Kunming.

“China’s policies and practices have fallen significantly short of international standards.”

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, an example that Zeya brought up of these abuses, has been serving an 11-year sentence in Heilongjian province for incitement on criminal charges; his wife is under house arrest since December. Xu Zhiyong, an anti-corruption activist, along with Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer, were also among the dissidents imprisoned that Zeya mentioned.

Yet, despite these individual examples, China disagrees with the Foreign Ministry saying that “China opposes US intervention of the Chinese judicial system through individual cases and wishes the US would respect China’s judicial sovereignty and stop its practice of badgering with individual cases.”

Wang Dong, an associate professor at Peking University’s School of International studies, stated that having a discussion is better than not having none at all.

“It’s a way to increase mutual understanding,” Wang said.

Critics stated that the dialogue between China and the US have very little merit or hope.

“It has not had any discernible impact in recent years,” says Maya Wang, a researcher in Hong Kong for Human Rights Watch. “These talks are more of a diplomatic exercise than a serious tool to press China on the issues.”

Firm and steadfast, Zeya defended her efforts, saying that this kind of criticism was “a vital part of US diplomacy,” and that “the fact that it is difficult is not a reason to abandon engagement.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

China says its human rights are at a “historic best”, yet Uzra Zeya, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labour, disagrees. The US official said the rights situation is worsening, citing that there have been an increased number of crackdowns on activists and lawyers.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

China human rightsChina says its human rights are at a “historic best”, yet Uzra Zeya, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy Human Rights and Labour, disagrees. The US official said the rights situation is worsening, citing that there have been an increased number of crackdowns on activists and lawyers.

“We have continued to see a deterioration in the overall human rights situation,” Zeya stated in Kunming at the 18th annual US-China Human Rights Dialogue in Kunming.

“China’s policies and practices have fallen significantly short of international standards.”

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, an example that Zeya brought up of these abuses, has been serving an 11-year sentence in Heilongjian province for incitement on criminal charges; his wife is under house arrest since December. Xu Zhiyong, an anti-corruption activist, along with Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer, were also among the dissidents imprisoned that Zeya mentioned.

Yet, despite these individual examples, China disagrees with the Foreign Ministry saying that “China opposes US intervention of the Chinese judicial system through individual cases and wishes the US would respect China’s judicial sovereignty and stop its practice of badgering with individual cases.”

Wang Dong, an associate professor at Peking University’s School of International studies, stated that having a discussion is better than not having none at all.

“It’s a way to increase mutual understanding,” Wang said.

Critics stated that the dialogue between China and the US have very little merit or hope.

“It has not had any discernible impact in recent years,” says Maya Wang, a researcher in Hong Kong for Human Rights Watch. “These talks are more of a diplomatic exercise than a serious tool to press China on the issues.”

Firm and steadfast, Zeya defended her efforts, saying that this kind of criticism was “a vital part of US diplomacy,” and that “the fact that it is difficult is not a reason to abandon engagement.”

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