Human rights

China touts human rights ‘values’ as international pressure mounts on Olympics

China released a report on its human rights values ​​on Tuesday, as international pressure mounts on the country ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The report was also released just days after the United States, citing concerns over human rights abuses, announced it would not send diplomats to the Olympics, which are set to begin in February.

The report was published by New China Research, which is the think tank of Xinhua News Agency, the country’s official media organization. The agency functions as a major distributor of propaganda linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

Entitled “Pursuing the Common Values ​​of Mankind”, the report looked at the country’s supposed efforts to advance the cause of democracy.

An introduction by Chinese President Xi Jinping also said that “the peoples of all countries uphold the common human values ​​of peace, development, equity,
justice, democracy and freedom. “

“Peace and development are our common cause, fairness and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit,” Xi said.

The report says China has prospered under its philosophy of “the management of the country by the people,” adding that the Chinese constitution guarantees respect for human and civil rights. The country also called itself a “staunch and innovative practitioner in the practice of the concepts of democracy, freedom and human rights,” but noted that its journey was not over.

China has released a report on its human rights values ​​and efforts, despite growing criticism from the international community over reported human rights violations against Uyghurs. The United States and a number of other countries have already embarked on a diplomatic boycott. Here, the logo of the 2022 Olympics can be seen in a park in Beijing.
Noël Celis / Getty

The report also details the country’s tendency to create a so-called “socialist democracy” by allowing its people to “become masters of the country”.

In addition, the report mentioned the many state-run programs in China. Although this has been criticized in many democracies, China has said that “the exercise of power by law can benefit the people, while the illegal and illegal exercise of power is doomed to harm the country. and to the people “.

Despite the report’s insistence that China has made civil liberties a top priority, international criticism has continued to escalate over widespread reporting of human rights violations.

The NGO Human Rights Watch has detailed important crimes against humanity, in particular against Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in the Xianjiang region. This includes, among other things, reports of mass detentions, enforced disappearances, forced labor, cultural genocide and sex crimes.

A Chinese official said the purpose of the actions was to “break [the Uyghurs’] lineage, break their roots. “

In addition to the human rights concerns reported, the sports community at large has expressed concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who disappeared after accusing a party official of sexual assault. Concerns remain about her security despite assurances from China that she is doing well.

The international reaction to these allegations continued to intensify as the Olympics approached. The United States is perhaps the most visible country to withdraw from the festivities following its diplomatic boycott, but it is not the only one.

Australia also announced on Tuesday that it would follow the lead of the United States and refuse to send officials to Beijing, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The country is reportedly considering whether to proceed with a full diplomatic boycott, while neighboring New Zealand has said it has already decided not to send diplomats.

France, Germany and the UK have yet to announce their position, although the European Parliament passed a resolution in July urging its member states to embark on a boycott.

News week has contacted the Chinese Embassy for comment.