ICC Note: The unexpected release of this white paper by the Chinese government indicates that it is concerned about international criticisms of its human rights record. The fact that the paper gloats about improved library services as an example of religious freedom in China shows that the government really has very little to say in defense of its “unique pattern of protecting human rights”.
06/08/2015 China (Christian Today)
Citing improved rural library services and indoor cinemas along with a deluge of other information, China praised its human rights record in a lengthy report card on Monday, its latest bid to deflect Western criticism.
While senior leaders periodically promise China’s citizens democracy and human rights, the last two years under President Xi Jinping’s administration have been marked by a sweeping crackdown on dissidents and activists.
China has long rejected criticism of its rights’ record, saying providing food, clothing, housing and economic growth are far more relevant for developing countries, pointing to its success at lifting millions out of poverty.
State news agency Xinhua said the white paper, issued by the State Council Information Office without prior warning, upheld “China’s unique pattern of protecting human rights”.
The paper said China showed progress by “respecting freedom of speech, guaranteeing freedom of religion to ethnic minorities and giving its citizens a right to an impartial trial”.
International rights groups have rejected these assertions. In recent years, the government has detained dozens of Chinese for dissent and Tibetans and Uighurs have complained of rights abuses.