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Statement by the Mission of China to the EU on Human Rights Day
2019/12/10

The promotion and protection of human rights is a shared ideal and pursuit of mankind. As today marks the 71st Human Rights Day, it is important for us all to seize this opportunity to enhance human rights protection, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect the paths of human rights development chosen by individual countries on their own, and uphold a fair, objective and non-selective position.

Over the 70 years since its founding, the People's Republic of China has opened up a new path of human rights development suited to its national circumstances. Historical changes have been made, as China lifts 1.4 billion people out of poverty, provides adequate food and clothing and moves on to build a moderately prosperous society for all its people. The Chinese people enjoy full rights and freedoms provided by law. The tremendous progress in China's human rights cause has broadened the ways to safeguard human rights on the ground worldwide and added to the diversity of human civilizations.

We don't think it is either fair or objective for the EU to ignore China's huge progress in this regard and keep pointing fingers at China's human rights situation. We believe that no country has an impeccable human right record. In fact, the human rights in the EU and its Member States are not without problems. One could easily find out from numerous news reports on TV, newspapers and social media, a lot needs to be done to improve human rights in the EU:

- The refugee and migration issue has dragged on without solution and humanitarian crises keep popping up.

- There is a sharp increase of racism, extremism and discrimination against ethnic minorities, coupled with more frequent anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, anti-Black people remarks and even deadly incidents.

- Violent crimes, proliferation of guns, spread of illicit drugs have become chronic maladies threatening the safety and security of the general public.

- Loop holes do exist in the judicial system; some cases have been pending for years due to human factors. Conditions in prisons are abominable, scandals abound in violent law enforcement, inquisition by torture, prisoner abuse, etc.

- The human rights of the disadvantaged groups are not adequately safeguarded; gender discrimination is widely practiced; inequality increases between men and women; child safety is a cause for concern; unemployment rate remains high for persons with disabilities.

It is not that China does not have concerns on the above-mentioned issues, but that we believe it is the economic and social development together with better governance, rather than external pressure, that will help improve human rights. China has no intention to use human rights issues to interfere in the EU's internal affairs. We urge the EU to stop posing as a "lecturer on human rights" and stop pressurizing China and interfering in others' domestic affairs with so-called human rights issues. The EU should abandon double standards and focus more on improving its own human rights.

There is no one-size-fits-all model in human rights development. No one could claim to have the best human rights in the world, but we should all work for better human rights. China opposes confrontation on human rights issues. We are willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect with the EU and all other parties, to advance development through cooperation, promote human rights through development, and work with the rest of the world to build a community of shared future for mankind.

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