International experts: China an important contributor to global human rights progress

By Wang Li, People’s Daily


China has made remarkable achievements in human rights and contributed its wisdom and solutions to global human rights governance, promoting the world’s human rights cause, said heads of social organizations, experts and scholars from countries including China, the United Kingdom (UK), France, Japan, Pakistan, Laos, and Venezuela.


They expressed such views at online side events at the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), which were held by social organizations and human rights research institutes including China Society for Human Rights Studies and China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE).


The country won wide recognition at multiple side events for its achievements in protecting the rights of ethnic minority groups as well as other aspects of its human rights progress.


Through institutional and policy guarantees, China ensures that ethnic minority citizens enjoy rights to equality and freedom and to economic, social and cultural services. China helps all ethnic minority areas accelerate their economic and cultural development, according to attendees at these side events.


China’s efforts and achievements in promoting overall, comprehensive, proactive, and substantial protection of the rights of people of all ethnic groups in its Tibet autonomous region over the past 70 years since the peaceful liberation of the region have fully demonstrated socialist system’s advantage and characteristic of protecting the rights of ethnic minority groups, said Yang Zongke, president of Northwest University of Political Science and Law in China.


China’s experience in protecting human rights in Tibet has offered the world good examples of human rights protection, Yang said.


China’s success in reducing poverty in Tibet has further guaranteed a fair and just environment for human rights development, strengthened the capabilities of impoverished population in Tibet to take part in social and economic development and share the fruits of development, and better safeguarded the rights of residents in the region to subsistence and development, representing a historic achievement in human rights in Tibet, said Kelsang Drolma, a researcher on Tibetan economy and society with the China Tibetology Research Center.


By showing the realities of the sound economic and social development in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, participants in these side events have debunked the false allegations against the region made by a handful of Western countries who have attempted to smear China.


Carlos Martinez, an independent researcher and political activist from the UK, said that he hasn’t seen any phenomenon of the so-called “cultural extinction” or “religious persecution” in Xinjiang during his visits to the region in recent years. The accusation of human rights violations in Xinjiang made by certain Western countries is entirely groundless, according to him.


Muhammad Zamir Assadi, a journalist with Independent News Pakistan, said he has visited Xinjiang and had a wonderful time there. During his stay in the region, he could truly feel that the Chinese government respects the traditional culture and folk customs of the ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang very much and fully guarantees local Muslims’ freedom of religious belief, according to Assadi.


Last month, China’s State Council Information Office released the “Human Rights Action Plan of China (2021-2025),” the country’s fourth human rights action plan. It attracted wide attention and became a hot topic at online side events.


China’s fourth human rights action plan is in line with the country’s social and cultural environment and shows the country’s attention to safeguarding the rights of special groups and commitment to solving problems including poverty, said Sitsangkhom Sisaketh, Lao deputy permanent representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG).


China has set a good example to countries around the world by issuing and implementing the action plan, he said.


China has made significant progress in protecting human rights, said Rajmi Manatunga, first secretary of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UNOG.


China has met the poverty eradication target set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule, which is particularly impressive and has a profound influence on the international community, Manatunga noted.


China’s fourth human rights action plan is rich and comprehensive in content and worth recommending and encouraging, Manatunga said.


There are good practices of respecting and safeguarding human rights in different industries in China, which are worth further studying and sharing by the international community, said Bård A. Andreassen, professor of human rights at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo and research director of the research group on human rights and development at the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.


“The Chinese government has issued four human rights action plans consecutively. It is an important manifestation of the constant development of China’s human rights,” said Tang Yingxia, deputy director of the human rights research center of China’s Nankai University.


A highlight of the latest human rights action plan is that it uses a whole chapter to specify people’s environmental rights and enrich the connotation of environment-related human rights, which demonstrated China’s high attention to the field, Tang noted.