Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, March 26, 2004

China refutes US censure on human rights

China on Thursday refuted a United States' accusation of human rights "backsliding" in China contained in a draft resolution to the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).


China on Thursday refuted a United States' accusation of human rights "backsliding" in China contained in a draft resolution to the ongoing session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).

The US presented its resolution to the 60th session of the UNHRC on Monday.

In response to the US accusation, Ambassador Sha Zukang, head of the Chinese delegation to UNHRC said at the meeting: "It is not out of ignorance or true concern for China's human rights but because of ulterior motives that a certain country has censured China."

"No human rights situation is perfect in any country in the world. Western countries are by no means models for human rights protection and the developing countries are certainly not synonymous with human rights violations," he said.

"The submission of the anti-China draft resolution by the US after a lull of two years has been entirely prompted by the need of general elections and has nothing to do with China's human rights," he said.

Ambassador Sha told the Commission that the Chinese government attaches importance to enhancing human rights and has achieved widely-acclaimed progress in human rights during the past year.

"In March, the National People's Congress incorporated into the Constitution in an unambiguous manner the provision that 'the State respects and protects human rights', representing a major breakthrough in China's human rights development," he said.

"No-one can obliterate China's human rights achievements and no-one can block China's progress," he stressed.

The Chinese ambassador warned that attempts, like those of the United States, to "privatize" the Commission blemishes the Commission's intentions and exacerbates confrontations in the Commission.

He strongly appealed to the Commission to put a halt to acrimony and abuse and to restore the original purpose of the Commission as a forum for mutual understanding and the promotion and protection of human rights.

China urges US to reflect upon own situation on human rights
"We are not surprised about the US accusations against China. What surprised my delegation is that there is no reference of American violations of human rights in his statement," he said.

"The United States is well known for its racial discrimination, police brutality and mistreat of detainees," he added.

Ambassador Sha said if the United States is really honest and concerned about human rights, it should table a resolution to name and shame itself.

"We'll suggest the United States to buy a mirror and look at itself in it. China is a poor developing country, but if you don't have a mirror, we can buy one for you." His humorous words won applause and laughter of all participants at the meeting.

"We have prepared China's white paper on the human rights of the United States. Anyone of you who have interest can read it. But my delegation strongly advise you not read it, particularly not before you going to bed, because you might have a nightmare."

The whole assembly hall burst into applause and laughter again.

The Chinese ambassador reiterated that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the human rights and has determination, confidence and capability to solve China's human rights issues.

"China has achieved a lot in the field of human rights. This is a fact known to the whole international community.

China's achievement cannot be written off by the accusation of the US delegation," he said.

Source: Xinhua

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