Home / Opinion

Dialogue is vital to resolve human rights issue

By Liu Huawen (China Daily USA)

Updated: 2015-09-23 08:05:19


By proposing to build a new model of major-country relationship with the US, China has shown its positive, open and constructive attitude toward bilateral relations. But the US seems reluctant to accept the changing international situation and China's rise and ever-increasing influence in the international community.

The US believes it has the authority to lecture any other country on human rights by frequently raising the issue. As a developed country, the US has seized the historical opportunities to develop its economy and rule of law to a high level, and thus always claims to have the most "advanced" political and cultural practices despite being unable to solve its complicated domestic human rights problems such as racial discrimination.

China is a developing country with a huge population and faces the complicated task of developing into an all-round advanced society. So it is not difficult to find problems and deficiencies in the country. Given these facts, the accusations against China on human rights issues reflect the US' arrogance.

China has made great progress on the economic and social development fronts. Its history, culture and national conditions are suited to a development philosophy that encompasses Chinese characteristics, with its highest point being the realization of the Chinese Dream. Since China is yet to reach that goal, it faces many difficulties and problems on the road to further development.

Nevertheless, Chinese people have fulfilled many other goals, gaining plenty of experience and confidence in the process. As a result, the Chinese people now share a strong belief that they should take the development road that is most suitable to the country's conditions.

Although China will further open to the outside world and learn from other countries' experiences, it cannot be expected to accept anything that is forced on it by foreign powers.

Dialogue is always better than confrontation. Perhaps no international law allows a foreign power to interfere in other sovereign state's internal affairs. So no country has the right to do so.

As the most important coordination center for international relations, the United Nations offers the most human rights communication and cooperation platforms based on international law, which also review and evaluate countries' performance on the human rights front. For instance, the UN Human Rights Council periodically reviews human rights issues across the world, and UN Human Rights Treaty bodies review reports of member countries on the execution of the treaty.

But the US once refused to join the UN Human Rights Council and has still not ratified several core UN human rights treaties, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and insists on following its own policies on the right to speech to prove it is superior to other countries. Considering the huge differences among countries and the US' endless domestic human rights challenges, the US is nothing but over-confident about its own beliefs and practices.

Human rights will continue to be one of the key topics in Sino-US relations, and dialogues and differences at different levels will continue. It is hoped that the two great powers will chart a new path and set a new example of communication and cooperation on human rights issues.

The author is deputy director of the Center for Human Rights Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.