Editor's note: Some Western politicians keep questioning China's human rights record in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet. They ignore the fact that local people's rights are well protected, and turn a blind eye to their own countries' serious social problems. Two human rights experts share their views on the issue with China Daily. Excerpts follow:
For some Western nations, fair is foul and foul is fair
The United States and some other Western countries have not abandoned their ideological prejudice against China. They have never believed in international law based on the basic principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. On the contrary, to fulfill their selfish goals, they have often accused China of violating human rights.
Thanks to the years of efforts of the central and local governments and the local people, the Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions have achieved unprecedented economic development and social progress. Also, education, employment, healthcare and public participation in Xinjiang and Tibet have greatly improved. Rather than praising these achievements, the Western countries' have intensified their attacks against China.
As for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, it is a model for the rule of law, but the US and the United Kingdom, breaking international rules, shamelessly encouraged social unrest in the SAR, and blamed China and the SAR government for the mayhem in the city. It shows that no matter how much good China does, the West will never stop accusing it of wrongdoings.
By bringing political factors into play and falsely accusing China of misdeeds to fulfill their own narrow goals, the Western countries have dealt a big blow to not only the cause of human rights but also international relations.
At a time when the novel coronavirus pandemic poses a major threat to the health and lives of people across the world, the international community needs to unite and deepen cooperation to contain the virus and promote global economic recovery. But some Western countries, especially the US, in order to cover their own failure to appropriately respond to the pandemic, are using ideology and politics and groundlessly accusing other countries of trampling on people's human rights to claim the moral high ground.
Does the US really care about human rights? If it does, why has it withdrawn from the United Nations Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization? And when the pandemic situation in the US is the worst in the world－the country has the highest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths－and racism and racial violence remain a serious problem in American society, why don't these Western politicians criticize the US administration for its failures.
Politicization of human rights is harmful to the human rights cause. We hope the Western countries that still suffer from a Cold War mentality stop using human rights as an instrument in their shameless diplomatic and geopolitical games and, instead, use the UN human rights mechanism to promote human rights and, more importantly, address their own internal problems and improve their peoples' lives and livelihoods.
Liu Huawen, executive director of the Institute of Human Rights Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Western ploy to check China's rise
From 1990 to the end of 2016, Xinjiang experienced thousands of terrorist and extremist attacks, in which many innocent people were killed and many more injured. These attacks posed a serious threat to the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, destabilized the social order and harmed economic development in the region.
That prompted China to take a series of measures to not only prevent all forms of extremism and violence, but also impart professional skill training to the people and generate employment channels as part of its targeted poverty alleviation work. The aim was to improve people's livelihoods and clean the soil breeding terrorism and extremism.
The central and Xinjiang governments have set up only vocational education and training centers in the region, not detention camps as some Western politicians groundlessly claim. In fact, thanks to these vocational education and training centers, Xinjiang has succeeded in decontaminating the soil that bred terrorism and extremism, and prevented terrorist attacks, safeguarded the lives and property of people of all ethnic groups, and restored social stability.
Moreover, freedom of religion and normal religious activities are fully protected in Xinjiang. The Xinjiang regional government not only guarantees the safety of religious venues, but also regularly disburses funds to help repair and maintain these facilities.
Due to the central and regional governments' effective measures and efforts, Xinjiang has not seen a single terrorist incident for more than three years. Also, the members of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have a greater sense of gain, happiness and security today.
Turning a blind eye to China's remarkable achievements in poverty alleviation, economic development, counter-terrorism and de-radicalization, the US-led Western countries think they have the moral authority or superiority to make baseless accusations against China. In so doing, however, they aim to contain China, not to protect human rights.
Zhang Yonghe, executive president of the Human Rights Institute, Southwest University of Political Science& Law
The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.