US clearly in the wrong over 'human rights'

Updated: 2014-06-12 07:26

By John Ross (China Daily)

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On May 28, the US House of Representatives chose to debate a resolution expressing its concern over the issue of "human rights" in China. This makes it appropriate to make a comparison of the real records of the US and China on human rights.

This is a vital issue, as human well-being is certainly the sole goal of any correct policy. Each nation has the right to pursue its national sovereignty and national culture, which is why China's national revival and overall human progress are inseparably linked.

The attempt to reduce human rights to a Western-style political structure, as though having a parliamentary system were the most important question facing human beings, is ridiculous. The real issue was very well put by the BBC's correspondent in China, Humphrey Hawksley:

"I hear from an Iraqi wedding photographer who had lost so many friends and family members that he would gladly have exchanged his right to vote for running water, electricity and safety; from an Argentine shoemaker who bartered trainers for food because his economy had collapsed; and from the African cocoa farmer whose belief in the Western free market left him three times poorer now than he was 30 years ago."

The example of women in China and India can readily be taken to illustrate the real issues involved in human rights.

A Chinese woman's life expectancy is 77 years and literacy among Chinese women over the age of 15 is 93 percent, whereas an Indian woman has a life expectancy of 68 and the literacy rate over the age of 15 is 66 percent. India may be a parliamentary republic, but the human rights of a Chinese woman are, unfortunately, far superior to women in India.

If the real meaning of the term human rights is used, it is evident that China has the best human rights record in the world - and those words are carefully chosen.

China has lifted more than 630 million people out of poverty - more than the entire population of the EU or the continent of Latin America, and almost twice the population of the US.

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