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China's Human Rights Record





Hello_World
Okay. You never hear the word 'China' without someone mentioning their human rights record.

But they never elaborate.

Given that China looks like the up and coming star, it is fair to consider the record more deeply.

What is the so-called record?

Are the things in the 'record' from the past or current?

Are the injustices equal, worse or less than other countries?

I notice there are people here from China, I most welcome your contribution.
Hello_World
Some issues that I have come across include:
Tibet
freedom of religion
freedom of speech
Tienaman Square
Falen Gong getting organs stolen(?)
Gross inequality (no different than other countries, but still)
lack of democracy?

But a couple of thoughts I have on a couple of them are, firstly that Chinese students study at foreign unis, so how could they really be that strict on freedom of speech? Also note that Chinese people come here to Frihost.

Also is Tibet any different really to any other imperialist invasion? Not suggesting that invasion is a good thing, but is that any worse than any other multitudes of countries who invade/have invaded?
ocalhoun
You might add the one-child policy to that list, according to some.


(Though I personally think that while it may have been poorly executed, it is important to take the overpopulation issue seriously and actually try to do something about it.)

There's also the whole censorship thing... even going as far as to censor the internet.
deanhills
Hello_World wrote:
But a couple of thoughts I have on a couple of them are, firstly that Chinese students study at foreign unis, so how could they really be that strict on freedom of speech? Also note that Chinese people come here to Frihost.
Excellent point. I bump into intellectually advanced (far ahead of me most of the time) and outspoken Chinese all over the world. They don't seem to be that deprived of any rights as they sound very comfortable when they express their thoughts as eloquently as they do. Compared to for example citizens in some of the Middle East countries who are much less open and much more restrained. But who knows, maybe the Chinese have learned how to survive in a restrictive environment like that. Those I've met were very wealthy as well, so there has to be freedom of earning lots of income or they've found a way how to work around regulations as well. Who knows, maybe it is a policy of the Chinese Government for its citizens to study abroad and they are encouraged to travel and expand Chinese business as far and wide as they possibly can.
Hello_World
Interesting you consider the one-child policy as potentially a human rights issue. I always thought it was a good policy given circumstances...

Shame it is so low - as in, one child is not many, and has obvious ramifications. But given the popultion of the world, it may be only time until we all have a child - limit. I just hope they do it before it has to be so low as one.

And also, I thought the penalty was having certain priveldges removed, not abortions and stuff. I could be wrong.

Mm, and the censorship issue, I was kind of alluding to with 'freedom of speech', and the idea horrifies me, yet like I said, Chinese people have been known to post here, on this forum with any number of issues the Chinese government could be potentially upset about.



Yes, the Chinese I've met don't appear to be truamatised in any way, they seem quite healthy intellectually and mentally. Although I can't say I know any Chinese person very well.

And yes, there are certainly very wealthy Chinese people, which I don't personally count as any particular point in their favour, being that there are also poor struggling Chinese. I think it has been a long time since any 'wealth redistribution' has been happening over there.
augustinelund
One thing that was missing in your list, is the death penelty. They say that China has the most number of executed people per year in the world. The inhabitants are the largest in the world as well. I did not hear how many in procent they are executing a year in relation to the population.
Hello_World
The death penalty - good thinking Smile

Nasty. Still, it is not uncommon for countries to have death penalty. So whilst it is a human rights issue, I'd have to say it still exists in countries which are spoken about without the whole 'human rights issues' coming up all the time.

I'm not just trying to make a list. I'd love some interpretation of the truth or extent... I'm hoping to get some debate rather than a list of accusations. Not talk about China without merely the assumption that it has human rights abuses, but an investigation of the claims...

For example, Tienamin Square was a very long time ago. But does this kind of business still go on? Would it be possible to happen again given the politics of today?

What are the issues involved in Tibet? I seem to have a remarkable ability to block out things I'm not interested in, well I know the Dali Lama is in exile...

And I'm not necessaraly pro- or against China, I'm just trying to get a fairer picture of the reality, on something I know little about and can't trust the media on.
airh3ad
Several countries throughout Asia one is china , such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and until recently, Sri Lanka etc, are torn apart by protracted conflicts and other situations of violence, resulting in widespread human rights violations. In Burma, China, Iran, Laos and Vietnam, civil society as well as minority and other vulnerable groups are oppressed by authoritarian regimes. North Korea is one of the few existing totalitarian dictatorships and remains closed to the rest of the world. Human rights abuses exist in the democracies as well, especially in India. Japan and South Korea also face their own challenges. Finally, democratization is either on retreat or faces significant obstacles in a number of countries, such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines and Thailand, where a culture of impunity for past and on-going abuses persists and undermines the strengthening of the rule of law. for sure human rights organizations of the world looking all countries for the human rights rule.
ocalhoun
Hello_World wrote:
Interesting you consider the one-child policy as potentially a human rights issue. I always thought it was a good policy given circumstances...

The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, depending on your definition of 'good'.
(Keeping a large population of slaves might be 'good' for a country, but would also be a major human rights issue.)


Personally, I don't find reproduction to be a basic human right... but some do, and would therefore accuse China of violating that right.
Hello_World
@airh3ad

How is civil society and minorities suppressed by China? Who are the minority groups in China?

Interesting comments on many Asian and Middle Eastern countries...

Actually I was unaware of any abuses in Japan and Vietnam...

North Korea and Burma are well known for extreme and highly current human rights abuses, also Sri Lanka's recent conflict has had a lot of publicity.

It seems there are sure a lot of human rights issues in the world right now Sad

@ocalhoun

I've never fully considered it. I can't imagine how upset or what I would do if I were told by a government that I was not allowed any children.

On the other hand, I tend to think of people with, say, 6 children, rather selfish, and I can't see why people shouldn't be told that x amount is enough, if the world is in some kind of peril from overpopulation.

And certainly I think it is selfish if they are on welfare LOL.

You are quite right, 'good' is not much of a standard...lol.

But without a principle to guide me, I can't help thinking that my thinking here is pretty wishy-washy. Perhaps I tend to think people do have the right to, say, a child each, but I don't tend to think there is any right to oodles of children.

Yeah, possibly a human rights issue, but not one which I think is bad really... maybe I need more information to come to any real kind of conclusion in my own thinking.

On what basis do you consider it okay to deny someone the 'right' to reproduction?
ocalhoun
Hello_World wrote:

On what basis do you consider it okay to deny someone the 'right' to reproduction?

The only basis by which it is legitimate to deny any right.

--That by practicing it (in an overpopulated situation) they are restricting the rights of others.
deanhills
If there could be a rule of economics, i.e. in order to have a child, one has to have X dollars available to support the child, maybe that could work. I think the greater problem are those children who cannot be looked after properly because they are born into poverty, don't have access to schools and education, and seem to perpetuate the cycle of large families but no income. The greater the poverty the greater the number of children. There has to be some responsibility attached to bringing another human being into the world. Not sure how this could be implemented however, particularly in war zones or drought stricken areas of the world and all of those ghettos attached to large cities.
handfleisch
China's human rights record is horrible, they are a worldwide disgrace, but their economic power makes most countries look the other way. They clamp down on public dissent quickly and harshly. They jail and torture dissenters, they execute people as casually as they make plastic chairs. Their continuing occupation and repression of Tibet is a horror story. They even torment and jail Falun Gong members for no obvious reason. It's as bad as any Soviet Communist police state was, but since the Chinese economy is no longer Communist and has Walmart as its #1 customer, the West doesn't care so much. It goes to show that all those years of BS about the human rights abuses of USSR had nothing to do with human rights and everything to do with promoting capitalism. Anyway to answer your question, China sucks, human rights-wise.

AI report on China, summary:
http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/china/report-2011
Quote:
growing economic and social inequalities, pervasive corruption within the judicial system, police abuses, suppression of religious freedoms and other human rights, and continuing unrest and repression in the Tibetan and Uighur regions of the country. Despite a rise in average incomes, millions had no access to health care, internal migrants continued to be treated as second-class citizens, and many children were unable to pay school fees.
The authorities renewed their commitment to strengthening the rule of law. However, access to justice remained elusive for those considered a political threat to the regime or to the interests of local officials. Political influence over and corruption within the judiciary remained endemic.
Reflecting its growing international economic and political influence, China increasingly threatened economic and political retaliation against countries that criticized its human rights record. Many countries appeared reluctant to publicly challenge China on its lack of progress on human rights, and bilateral channels, such as human rights dialogues, proved largely ineffective. The authorities reacted angrily to the news that the Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded to long-time Chinese political activist Liu Xiaobo, indefinitely postponing bilateral trade talks with Norway. Foreign diplomats reported being pressured by China not to attend the award ceremony on 10 December in Oslo.
augustinelund
I can if I will, write something similar about the United States as well:

It is an inhumane country, They jail people for miner things (3 strike rule), killings of religious minorities (Davidian Branch Waco siege 1993), jailing suspected people with Muslim origin, allowing torture, jailing of people in other countries without a trial and holding them for years, executing people, also innocent ones, They occupy Iran and Afghanistan, a horror story, etc etc.

If you want to you can by selecting facts prove your point. If you want to you can also portray the USA as a country that sucks human rights-wise.
deanhills
augustinelund wrote:
I can if I will, write something similar about the United States as well:

It is an inhumane country, They jail people for miner things (3 strike rule), killings of religious minorities (Davidian Branch Waco siege 1993), jailing suspected people with Muslim origin, allowing torture, jailing of people in other countries without a trial and holding them for years, executing people, also innocent ones, They occupy Iran and Afghanistan, a horror story, etc etc.

If you want to you can by selecting facts prove your point. If you want to you can also portray the USA as a country that sucks human rights-wise.

I'd love to see whether the Chinese Government would allow its citizens and media to criticize it in blogs like the US citizens and media seem to be able to do of its own Government.
ocalhoun
augustinelund wrote:
If you want to you can also portray the USA as a country that sucks human rights-wise.

In many ways, the USA is a country that sucks human rights-wise.
Hello_World
I already know a lot about US, but I don't know about China. Good comparison. I did wonder that we only hear about China because the allied governments don't really like China.

I agree but I don't think the US really jails people with Muslim origin because they are Muslim... not sure what exactly you are referring to with that, and I don't think they deliberately use the death penalty on innocents, although certainly there have been mistakes. But sure, the rest are true. They do sentence children to life without parole. You could add some more in there too.

I didn't even think about checking Amnesty, lol, good thinking. No, it does really sound pretty bad there after all.

I disagree that the west doesn't care, it is always 'whispered', I think it is fear. Or at least, they probably don't care, but still they don't like China. The US and Australia both are beholden completely to a capitalist dictatorship.

And I think that the answer also to a question I had, and augustinelund reminded me, would we really be worse off if China was the superpower rather than US - perhaps not the middle east, and maybe not aboriginal people, but yes, we the west, (and we Australia) would be.

With the US, it sucks to be middle eastern/Muslim or socialist or aboriginal or poor, but in general, most people have the freedom of speech and religion, and even us socialists are given 95% of that too at the moment, and Muslims are allowed to have their religion.

With China, it sucks to be any religion or democratic or socialist, and that includes most people, and while life here is minutely harder to be Muslim or socialist, there you are facing jail time or worse.

And I got a feeling that South America would become a very important place (battleground?) if that occurred.

As a side note, it was interesting to look up Australia. Happy to say there were no surprises really, at least the bad things we do are widely discussed. (Minor surprise that giving Afghan prisnors to US is considered human rights abuse).

Any thoughts?
ocalhoun
Hello_World wrote:

I agree but I don't think the US really jails people with Muslim origin because they are Muslim... not sure what exactly you are referring to with that, and I don't think they deliberately use the death penalty on innocents,


Well, there was that one time in *shudder* Texas...
Quote:
(Minor surprise that giving Afghan prisnors to US is considered human rights abuse).

It's because of what the US does with 'em.
Handing them over to torturers isn't morally much better than doing the torture yourself.
deanhills
Hello_World wrote:
I agree but I don't think the US really jails people with Muslim origin because they are Muslim... not sure what exactly you are referring to with that, and I don't think they deliberately use the death penalty on innocents, although certainly there have been mistakes. But sure, the rest are true. They do sentence children to life without parole. You could add some more in there too.
I have a friend here in the UAE who is a Muslim and from Sudan. Up to the point that he visited the US for business reasons, I also thought the US was quite a friendly country. Some of the customs official can do with a bit of training in diplomacy, but in overall I thought they were not too bad. Until I lived through the experience of my Muslim friend. He is a very friendly guy.

You don't want to be a Muslim when you visit the US. You do stand a better chance if you have citizenship of the large Western countries if you are Muslim, but if you're from a country like Sudan, you're subjected to an amazing long list of things to do, even for a short visit. He had to fill in long documentation before he left, and even with a letter of recommendation from the University he was visiting in North Carolina, he still had to travel to Abu Dhabi to have an interview. He then thought he would be OK since he now had a Visa. Woe behold when he arrived in the US - even for visiting only for a week, he was subjected to the third degree. Then informed that he had to report to a registration center in the city (none available at the airport in Raleigh). So he had to travel to a special centre for registering himself as a Muslim from Sudan. He had a very full itinerary, so had to find time and also do research as to where to register. Then of course when he returned, he had to get an exit permission from the exact same centre that he registered at. He'd hope to travel to New York first. Still did that, but boy, was it complicated!

So imagine what it is like when Muslims visit the US for longer periods of time. They get special notices and lists of things they need to do that involves regular visits to the registration centers.

I can understand that this is needed for security purposes, but if Muslims go through this experience, when in reverse citizens from the US don't need a Visa to travel in the UAE for example, I can imagine their irritation is quite justified.
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