The Herald Courier
Date: Dec 7, 2017
By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) — Hundreds of participants attended the opening of a human rights forum in
Beijing on Thursday in the latest installment of China’s energetic drive to showcase what it considers the strengths of its authoritarian political system under President Xi Jinping.
Beijing’s new outreach comes as the U.S. turns inward under President Donald Trump, who has set aside traditional U.S. advocacy of democracy and human rights in favor of an “America first” approach That has seen Washington withdraw from key forums from the Paris climate agreement to negotiations on a U.N. migration compact.
The “South-South Human Rights Forum,” drawing some 300 participants from over 50 mostly developing countries, follows a conference of political parties last weekend in Beijing also attended by hundreds of delegates, some of whom sung the praises of Communist Party rule. The gathering also comes on the heels of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress in October, at which Xi declared that China now stood “tall and firm in the east” and had entered a new era seeing China “moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind.”
Addressing Thursday’s opening session, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the party congress had “identified the goal of forging a new field in international relations and building a community of shared future for mankind.”
“This is China’s answer to the question of where human society is heading, and it has also presented opportunities for the development of the human rights cause,” Wang said.