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Reply of H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yishan Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the UN to the Statement Made by the Representative of the United States of America on Human Rights

2002-11-08 00:00
Mr. Chairman,

Since the Representative of the United States willfully attacked my country in his speech, I cannot but exercise my right to reply. As I have not participated in the deliberation of the Third Committee of the General Assembly for almost 10 years, the speech by the U.S. Representative sounds both unfamiliar and familiar to me.

Where is the unfamiliarity? I am not familiar with the offensive rhetoric by the U.S. Representative. It is anachronistic to the global trend of promoting human rights through mutual understanding, cooperation and common efforts. Human history has ushered in a new millennium, yet they are still holding on to the old mentality of the past century.  They are still very firm on confrontation, on politicization of human rights, and on exertion of pressure to other countries in the name of human rights.

Where is the familiarity? I am familiar with the way they talk.  In terms of the content, tone, even the choice of words, their rhetoric is exactly the same as that of ten years ago. Strangely enough, despite the progress of our time, the advancement of our society, and the development of the world

situation, we have seen little progress in the position, frame of mind, attitude, and even the temper of the U.S. Representative.

Mr. Chairman,

Safeguarding and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms is a common ideal of mankind, an ideal that is shared by the Chinese people, one fifth of the world's population, and an ideal that is constantly pursued by the Chinese government. Over the past decades, particularly since its reform and opening up in 1978, China has made world-acclaimed achievements in political, economic, and cultural fields, including the field of human rights. Here I can tell you, with pride and responsibility, but without any exaggeration, that China has entered a period where it enjoys the best human rights conditions in Chinese history ever. The willful accusation and attacks of the US representative will never negate nor change the unstoppable pursuit and full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Chinese people.

We advocate cooperation, dialogue and sharing of experience on human rights issues. We do not appreciate, nor approve of, the overweening unilateralism practiced by the United States. Here I would like to sincerely advise the US representative that it is undemocratic, unrealistic, and impossible for the United States to impose the American social system, way of life, and values on other countries. If the US representative really wants to do something good and contribute to the safeguard and promotion of human rights, he has to take the following prescriptions seriously: a little less arrogance and prejudice, a little more exchanges and communication; a little less accusation and attacks, a little more understanding and dialogues; a little less fruitless confrontation, and a little more constructive cooperation.

I have been transferred to work in New York only for a short time. I will have more opportunities to listen to speeches by US representatives on human rights during the next session of the General Assembly. I sincerely hope that by that time I will see some progress made by them.
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