Chinese Delegates Blast Criticism of PRC Human Rights Practices at Human Rights Commission Meeting in Geneva

March 23, 2005

Chinese delegates responded to criticism of PRC government human rights practices and described Chinese government views on the right to development in statements March 22 at the annual session of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. According to an official U.N. press release reporting on the proceedings, Chinese delegate Li Wen replied to a statement by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer that included China among nations that violate human rights. Li charged that Fischer’s statement was politically motivated and that Germany should raise the issue in the Sino-German bilateral human rights dialogue.

Speaking on behalf of a "like minded group" of developing countries, PRC delegate La Yifan argued that the right to development can only be realized through international cooperation, and that international cooperation should not be subject to conditionality or any form of sequencing at the national or international levels.

The Chinese interventions at the Commission session demonstrate that the PRC government continues to reject any link between the development of civil and political rights and economic development and foreign development assistance. This philosophical link underpins the international development programs of many nations, such as the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account. The Chinese delegates also made plain their preference to confine discussion of the Chinese government’s human rights violations to bilateral dialogues rather than in multilateral fora such as the Human Rights Commission.