Date: June 08, 2015
By: Lily Kuo
China has released a white paper hailing the country’s “tremendous achievements” when it comes to protecting human rights, a pre-emptive rebuttal to criticism that will inevitably arise during a United Nations panel on torture later this year.
The report, released without warning by the State Council today, is also an illustration of the disconnect between China’s definition of human rights and that of its critics. Specifically, China equates economic development with human rights—as opposed to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights which includes statements such as “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” and “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.”
The Chinese report’s first section describes the “right to development’ and highlights the country’s GDP growth of 7.4% last year and increase in annual per capita disposable income (20,167 yuan, or $3,240, an 8% increase from the year before.) According to the white paper, this is “China’s unique pattern of protecting human rights.” [FULL STORY]