Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang addressed the high-level segment of the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council via video link on Monday.
The following is the full text of the address:
In October 2022, the Communist Party of China (CPC) held its 20th National Congress. A blueprint was drawn for advancing national rejuvenation through a Chinese path to modernization. The Chinese path of modernization provides another option to developing countries in their pursuit of modernization, and is China’s contribution to the exploration by humanity for a better social system.
The process of Chinese modernization is also a process of advancement in human rights. As President Xi Jinping stated, China will follow a Chinese path of human rights development, actively participate in global human rights governance, and promote all-round development of human rights. China has found a path of human rights development that meets the trend of the times and suits its national conditions. This path holds the key to the country’s historic achievements in human rights, and we will stay on this path going forward.
For us, the biggest human right is the happiness of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. Meeting their immediate interests is what all our endeavors are about. The 1.4 billion people have been deeply involved in the development of human rights, and have benefited the most in this process. They now have a growing sense of fulfillment, happiness and security.
In China, we have ended absolute poverty once and for all, completed the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects across the country, and put in place the world’s largest education, social security, and healthcare systems. Guided by the new development philosophy, we are pursuing high-quality development by fostering a new development paradigm, to promote common prosperity for all.
Under the constitutional principle that "The state shall respect and protect human rights", we have comprehensively advanced law-based governance and enhanced legal safeguards for human rights, to uphold social fairness and justice. We have continuously developed the whole-process people’s democracy, under which the people enjoy more extensive, substantive and comprehensive democratic rights.
We advocate the common values of humanity, namely, peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, and practice true multilateralism. We have fully participated in UN human rights affairs, earnestly fulfilled our international human rights obligations, and put forward China’s propositions and initiatives. We have engaged in constructive dialogue and cooperation with the UN High Commissioner and other countries, and helped advance the reform and development of the global human rights governance system.
Seventy five years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was born from the ashes of the Second World War. The Declaration, affirming the respect for and protection of basic human rights, is a milestone in the international human rights cause. Thirty years ago, the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action established the equal status of all human rights. The vision of promoting human rights through development and cooperation has become more and more widely appreciated.
As we speak, the COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering. The global economy is at risk of a recession. Food and energy crises, disruptions to industrial and supply chains, climate change and other global problems keep emerging. The international human rights cause is facing severe challenges. Given these new circumstances and tasks, we need to ask ourselves: How to better promote and protect human rights? How to enhance and improve global human rights governance? In answering these questions, China wishes to propose the following:
— Committing to a path of human rights development that suits the realities of each country.
"Human rights for all" is the shared pursuit of humanity. Meanwhile, countries vary from one another in historical background, cultural heritage, national conditions and needs of the people. There is no one-size-fits-all model in the protection of human rights. The right of all countries to independently choose one’s own path of human rights development should be respected. Blindly copying the model of others would be ill-fitted for one’s own conditions, and imposing one’s model upon others would entail endless troubles.
— Committing to the comprehensive promotion and protection of all human rights.
Human rights are indivisible. The right to subsistence and the right to development are basic human rights of primary importance. Civil and political rights, and economic, social and cultural rights should be accorded equal attention and advanced in a holistic way. Just as all men are born equal, all countries are equal members of the international community. More attention should be paid to the human rights challenges facing developing countries and their human rights needs. Measures of unilateral coercion violate international law and the basic human rights of the people of the countries concerned, and should be lifted immediately and unconditionally.
— Committing to international fairness and justice.
The advancement of the international human rights cause needs solidarity and cooperation, not division or confrontation. No country is qualified to act as the judge on human rights, and human rights should not be used as a pretext for meddling in other countries’ internal affairs or holding back other countries’ development. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed by all, and human rights exchanges and cooperation be carried out on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The acts by some to politicize, weaponize and instrumentalize human rights issues should be opposed. The practices of lecturing and finger-pointing on others’ human rights, while ignoring and failing to solve one’s own serious human rights problems should be rejected.
— Committing to dialogue and cooperation.
The Human Rights Council should be a stage for constructive dialogue and cooperation, rather than an arena for political manipulation and bloc confrontation. The Council should be UN-membership-led. The human rights treaty bodies and the special procedures should operate within their mandates and build bridges of communication with member states. Only by following the principles of impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization can the UN human rights system function well and bring continued positive energy to the international human rights cause.
China is a unified multi-ethnic country. Its 56 ethnic groups, diverse yet tight-knit, are closely united like the seeds of a pomegranate. Together, they form a community of solidarity and mutual assistance of the Chinese nation. Some forces with hidden agenda keep hyping up issues related to China’s Xinjiang and Tibet, in an attempt to smear China and suppress its development. We firmly oppose such moves. We welcome all fair-minded people from across the world to China to visit more places and see more things, to learn what is truly happening on the ground.
Since the legislation on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong took effect, the city’s standing as an international financial, shipping and trading center has strengthened. Hong Kong remains in the lead in multiple global index rankings concerning the rule of law, safety and security, and business climate. The lawful rights and freedoms of its residents are better protected. Hong Kong is now at a new stage where it has restored order and is set to thrive. We will remain steadfast in fully and faithfully implementing the policy of One Country, Two Systems, firmly safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and maintain Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Hong Kong will embrace an even brighter tomorrow!
Planet Earth is our one and only home. When the Japanese government decided to release contaminated water of the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, this decision bears on the security of the global eco-environment and the right to health of people around the world. As many as 1.3 million tons of such water is to be discharged, containing over 60 kinds of radionuclides, some of which have no proven effective technology for treatment. Estimation shows the release will last 30 years. With the world’s strongest ocean currents along the Fukushima coast, these radionuclides would reach every corner of the oceans around the globe ten years after the discharge. This is not Japan’s private business. Countries should urge Japan to take the legitimate concern of the international community seriously, fulfill its due international obligations, and deal with the nuclear waste water in an open, transparent, science-based and safe manner.
As the new year starts, China is ready to work with all parties to advance the global cause of human rights protection, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
I wish this session of the Human Rights Council positive outcomes.