Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

One leaf is not the whole forest

By Mo Nong (China Daily) Updated: 2012-05-04 08:05

What makes the Chen Guangcheng case complicated is nothing but the ideology-dominated thinking of some people in the United States.

Human rights abuses take place everywhere almost everyday. No country can act as a human rights savior for the 7 billion people worldwide.

Some in the United States have a Cold War mentality and turn a blind eye to what China has achieved in its protection of human rights and they spare no opportunity to speak ill of the human rights conditions in this country.

The Chinese saying that a leaf before the eye blocks the view of a mountain describes the situation that occurs when some Americans look at human rights issues in China.

Some Chinese citizens, who may have grievances with local government officials or are discontented with the reality in this country, take advantage of this limited viewpoint to seek support from people in the US and other Western countries.

Some seek to attach the label of political dissident or activist on themselves to attract the attention and concern of the United States or other Western powers, which in turn use them to smear the reputation of China.

Chen Guangcheng and those who are trying to pressure China with him are taking the advantage of each other for their own purposes.

Chen can hardly deny the fact that the Chinese government has been doing its best to address the grievances ordinary Chinese people harbor against local governments and officials. It has created special organizations so people can voice their complaints, is improving its mechanism that prevents government officials from abusing their powers, and is implementing more administrative and legal measures to ensure they show enough concern for the rights and interests of citizens.

Even the China criticizers should acknowledge that the human rights situation in the country has seen much progress over the past decades.

Chen's discontent and dispute with some local government officials hardly reflects the overall situation in China.

Diversified as opinions are about the way China should further advance both economic and political reforms, most people agree that social instability is the last thing they want when there is the opportunity for China to catch up with developed countries.

Those who wag their tongues about China's human rights conditions should also realize that in a country of nearly 1.4 billion people it is natural that there will be disagreements, disputes or even conflicts between local residents and local officials.

It is not fair for some Westerners to champion a particular case such as Chen's in order to attack China's overall human rights conditions, especially as the country is determinedly progressing its human rights.

And it is improper for the US embassy in China to act in a way that supports, or gives the impression that it supports, those who have made up their mind to vent their grievances against local officials in an extreme manner. Any such words and actions are not part of its diplomatic mission, go against the principles of international law, and will impair relations between the two countries.

The fourth round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue began on Thursday in Beijing. However the Chen case develops, it should not cast a shadow over these important talks that are charting the development paths for the world's largest developed country and the largest developing nation.

The author is a writer with China Daily.

(China Daily 05/04/2012 page8)

Most Viewed Today's Top News
New type of urbanization is in the details