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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Qiao Zonghuai, Head of the Chinese Delegation, Before the Vote on the Draft Resolution Entitled "Situation of Human Rights in China" at the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

2001-04-18 00:00

April 18, 2001, Geneva

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation resolutely opposes the draft resolution L.13 introduced by the US delegation. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Functional Commissions of ECOSOC, I hereby move that the Commission take no action on the draft resolution L.13. I also request a roll-call vote on my motion. The reasons are as follows:

First, the draft resolution L.13 is devoid of factual grounds, self-contradictory and full of absurdities.

Within the past 12 years since 1990, the United States has for 10 times instigated or tabled anti-China draft resolutions in the Commission. Every time it makes the same argument that the human rights situation in China has been deteriorating. This argument is in total disregard of the situation on the ground. During these 12 years, China has made great achievements in economic development and social progress and the Chinese people have been enjoying ever higher levels of economic, social and cultural rights. During this period, as a result of unswerving efforts in building up democracy and legal systems, the Chinese people are able to enjoy civil and political rights to a degree unprecedented both in scope and in depth. It is precisely owing to this tangible progress in human rights cause every year that China is now able to achieve political stability and social progress and its people could live and work in peace and contentment.

In fact, even the US itself has to admit that China has made not only achievements in the economic and social areas, but also positive progress in judicial transparency, rule of law and international cooperation in the field of human rights. This clearly contradicts the slanderous accusations in draft resolution L.13 about the deterioration of human rights situation in China. In this Commission, the US delegation has always insisted that guarantee of civil and political rights is the precondition for sustained economic development. If the accusations against China as contained in this draft resolution are tenable, how can the US delegates explain the remarkable achievements China has made in economic development and social progress for more than two decades?

Secondly, in essence, the draft resolution L.13 interferes in the internal affairs of the developing countries and undermines their development efforts under the pretext of concern for human rights.

After a century of humiliation by western powers, China eventually found a development path suitable to its conditions and supported by its people. Its success is recognized by the whole world. However, for the US, its only concern is whether a developing country follows its whims, imitates its systems or accepts its values. In the eyes of some US politicians, China's success is an open challenge to their model of democracy, their way of development and their human rights criteria, which is intolerable to them who are bloated with racial supremacy. By tabling anti-China resolutions, these politicians dream of destabilizing China and of forcing the Chinese people to abandon their rightly-chosen path to development. They also wish to throw hurdles in China's development and progress and put China in a state of perpetual backwardness.

The US standards of human rights are nothing more than double standards and political standards. The US refuses to reflect on its own rampant racial discrimination, which leads to the recent severe racial violence in Cincinnati. The US has also persisted in preventing the international community from showing justified concern over the violation of the legitimate rights and interests of the people in the occupied Palestinian territories. Meanwhile, the US arbitrarily levels accusations of human rights violations against the developing countries. Can this practice be characterized anything other than double standards? The US tables country resolutions against countries selected on the basis of political proximity and for the needs of its domestic political expediency. Can this be anything other than typical political utilitarianism?

Thirdly, the "no-action" motion put forward by the Chinese delegation is appropriate and fully justified.

The US claims that the "no-action" motion put forward by China is designed to prevent the Human Rights Commission from discussing the human rights situation in China and to seek special treatment. Such a claim confuses black and white. Over the past weeks, countries, including the US, have fully expressed their views at a length on China's human rights situation in their statements. The Chinese delegation has at its own initiative presented the true picture of human right situation in China. Our proposing of "no-action" motion is in full accordance with the Rules of Procedure adopted by the ECOSOC. The US itself has repeatedly put forward "no-action" motions in the UN bodies on the strength of the same Rules of Procedure. However, the US finds it proper for itself to propose such motions while accusing developing countries of seeking special treatment for doing exactly the same thing. Such is the logic of the United States.

In today's world, there does exist such a country practicing hegemonism and seeking special treatment everywhere by resorting to its power. This country has arbitrarily breached its own solemn commitment in disregard of the universal aspiration of the international community to environmental protection. This country, in the name of exercising the so-called right of surveillance, has sent military planes to violate the sovereignty and people's right to life of another country. This country, as the self-claimed human rights judge, wantonly levels accusations on the human rights situations of almost 200 countries and regions every year. This country, in defiance of the opposition of the majority of the members of the Commission, has tabled time and again anti-China draft resolutions, which had already been rejected nine times before. To put it bluntly, it is the United States itself, not anyone else, that is seeking special treatment.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,

It is fitting and proper for China to put forward a "no-action" motion vis-a-vis the absurd draft resolution L.13, and it does so in the interest of preserving the solemn, objective and fair nature of the work of the Commission on Human Rights. The Chinese delegation calls upon all the members of the Commission to uphold principles and justice and support this no-action motion proposed by China.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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