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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun on Human Rights

2019-10-22 06:19


Promoting and protecting human rights is the common ideal of humanity. The international community has made strenuous efforts and achieved remarkable results in this area. At the same time, there is always room for improvement on human rights. There is still a long way to go in the journey towards common development and human rights enjoyed by all.

We must remain committed to building a peaceful international environment. The world today is not free from trouble. Unilateralism and protectionism is eroding international order. Geopolitical conflicts and hot issues never cease to exist. There would be no human rights without peace and stability. Countries should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect others’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, resolve disputes through political dialogue and consultation, and work together to build a world of lasting peace and universal security.

We must remain committed to building a solid foundation for development. There is only ten years left to achieve the SDGs as scheduled. It is an arduous task for all. Countries should step up efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, always put people first, focus on poverty reduction, earnestly safeguard and improve people’s well-being, uphold social equity and justice, and strike a balance among economic growth, social progress and environmental protection to ensure that no one is left behind.

We must follow a path of human rights development suited to national conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Countries need to bear in mind the practical circumstances, consider both universality and specialty, and strive to find a tailored and effective model of promoting and protecting human rights.

We must promote and protect human rights in the course of development. Development is a dynamic and historical process. So is promotion and protection of human rights. Facts prove that it takes a right philosophy and path of development to create most favorable conditions and guarantee for human rights. For developing countries, rights to survival and development should be the top priority and the basis for promoting all human rights in a balanced manner.

We must seek common progress through dialogue and cooperation. In a world of interdependence, no one is superior and no one has privilege. In conducting international cooperation on human rights, it is important to advocate extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. All countries are equal despite their sizes. All countries’ independent choices of development path and human rights protection model should be respected. One must not interfere in others’ internal affairs or impose one’s own will onto others. Efforts should be made to deepen inter-civilization and inter-faith exchanges and mutual learning and harmonious co-existence among civilizations, and leave no room for hate speech claiming racial supremacy and clash of civilizations.


This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The world has witnessed China’s remarkable progress in human rights over the past seven decades.

In the past seven decades, tremendous progress has been made in rights to survival and development. The Chinese people have turned a poor country into the world’s second largest economy, the largest manufacturer and the largest trader in goods. More than 800 million people are lifted out of poverty, nearly 400 million become middle-income earners. These development achievements are the marvel of the world.

In the past seven decades, balanced and sufficient development has been achieved in both categories of human rights. We have put in place a sound legal system of protecting human rights, published three National Plans of Action on Human Rights, and established the world’s largest democratic election system at the primary level. In the latest elections of deputies to people’s congresses in towns and counties, more than 2.5 million deputies were elected through direct election by more than one billion Chinese voters.

In the past seven decades, China has made important contribution to global cause of human rights. China has provided development assistance of nearly 400 billion yuan to more than 160 countries and international organizations. Over 550 cooperation outcomes have been delivered under the Belt and Road Initiative. All these have given a strong boost to economic and social development and human rights cause of developing countries.

It has been fully proved that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics fits China’s national conditions. This path is good for world peace and prosperity. We will unswervingly follow this path.


It is China’s long-held view that in a world of diverse countries and civilizations, it is completely normal for countries to have differences and disagreements. What matters is to increase mutual understanding through communication, resolve differences through dialogue and enhance mutual learning through exchanges. China stands firmly against politicizing human rights issues, applying double standards and willfully blaming and pressuring other countries. At the current Third Committee meetings, the United States and a few other countries, in their old habits, have made attempt to use human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of China, which we totally reject.

We must point out that the trend of the world is unstoppable and the strong bullying the weak receives no support. There are someone from some countries who like criticizing developing countries and giving orders on human rights from a self-claimed high moral ground. Look around the world and you can see that it is these countries who give no regard to multilateralism and international responsibilities, engage in unilateralism and protectionism with various excuses, and withdraw from or tear up international agreements as they wish. We urge these countries to abandon the outdated mindset and abominable acts of hegemonism and power politics and stop all the wrong deeds that go against the trend of history.

We must point out that one must examine oneself before critiquing others. Some countries create troubles everywhere, leaving behind numerous problems. Wars, color revolutions, serious violation of human rights. They keep saying protecting human rights and religious freedom, yet emboldening terrorists and extremists. They show no remorse for the terrible human rights record of their own; they are indifferent to the pains of their own people caused by gun violence, wealth gap and racial discrimination. We urge these countries to do more self-reflection, correct mistakes and clean up their own houses, instead of being troublemakers who do not care.

We must point out that China’s development achievements are widely recognized, and that making human rights accusations against China is barking up the wrong tree. Since the founding of the People’s Republic, especially the start of reform and opening up, China has traveled a journey in several decades which took developed countries several centuries. On a land of 9.6 million square kilometers, there is no fear of war or displacement. Nearly 1.4 billion people are living in peace, freedom and happiness. This is protecting human rights in the best sense and best practice of human rights protection. We urge relevant countries to stop wrong acts of politicization and double standards, stop meddling with China’s internal affairs, come back to the right track of dialogue and cooperation, and do real good things for the development of international human rights cause.


I want to take this opportunity to emphasize that the Chinese people are in consistent pursuit of development and human rights. No matter how the world may change, our desire for a better life will not change; our conviction in the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics will not change; and our resolve to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests will not change. With the socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a new era, China will embrace a more robust economy, greater social harmony, more sound democracy, fuller rule of law and comprehensive improvement of human rights. In an open, inclusive, candid and cooperative spirit, China will continue to take part in international human rights cooperation actively and constructively to seek common progress and development with all countries.

Thank you, Chair.

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