BEIJING: Chinese leader Xi Jinping defended China’s record to the top UN human rights official Wednesday, saying each nation should be allowed to find its own path based on its particular circumstances and criticising those countries that lecture others on human rights and politicise the issue, reports AP.
“Through long-term and persistent hard work, China has successfully embarked on a path of human rights development that conforms to the trend of the times and suits its own national conditions,” Xi told UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet in a video call, according to an online report from state broadcaster CCTV.
The CCTV report didn’t mention Xinjiang or the Communist Party’s often harsh treatment of dissidents and activists and ethnic groups in Tibet and Inner Mongolia.
Xi laid out the long-ruling Communist Party’s position on human rights, which argues that China should find its own path and not completely copy the models of other countries and rejects outside criticism as interference in its domestic affairs. It also says that bettering the lives of people is the most important human right for developing countries, and points to China’s success in lifting people out of poverty.
“On the issue of human rights, there is no perfect ‘utopia,’” he was quoted as saying. “We don’t need ‘masters’ that dictate to other countries, let alone politicising and turning the human rights issue into a tool, practicing double standards and interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of human rights.”
The CCTV report quoted Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, as saying, “I admire China’s efforts and achievements in eradicating poverty, protecting human rights and achieving economic and social development.”
US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday in Washington, DC, that the United States does not expect China to allow the access Bachelet would need to get an unmanipulated view of the human rights situation in Xinjiang.
Bachelet started her trip in Guangzhou, a city in southeastern China, where she met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and had a video conference with Du Hangwei, the vice minister of public security. Her itinerary also includes the cities of Kashgar and Urumqi, both in Xinjiang.