“Zero” improvement on reform and human r1ghts

The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, established as part of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization and mandated by the U.S. government to monitor human r1ghts and the rule of law in China, issued its latest report which claims that China has achieved “zero” improvements in both reforms and human r1ghts this past year.

“China has tinkered with legal reform and engaged the international community on human r1ghts, but these positive steps were clouded by new detentions and government policies designed to protect the Communist Party’s rule and tighten control over society.”

“The government did not recognize core labour rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining, prohibited independent labour unions and punished workers who tried to organize,” it said. Authorities had also “tightened restrictions on journalists, editors, and Web sites” and continued to “intimidate and imprison journalists, editors, and writers.”

“Chinese authorities used administrative procedures and vaguely worded criminal laws to detain citizens who try to practice freedom of religion, speech, and assembly. The Chinese government continues to harass, abuse, and detain religious believers who seek to practice their faith outside state-controlled religious venues.” The report cited repression or severe restrictions on T1betan Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics and Protestants. “These detentions and policies violated not only China’s constitution and laws, but also internationally recognized human r1ghts standards.”

China, as expected, reacted furiously. Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said, “The report wantonly interferes in China’s internal affairs and we express resolute opposition to it.” He said that the report “distorted facts and continued to attack China on the issues of human r1ghts, religion, T1bet, Xinj1ang, Hong Kong and women’s r1ghts, disregarding China’s achievements in human r1ghts protection and legislation.” He claimed that “China had maintained fast and healthy economic development and people of all ethnic groups enjoyed their full legal rights and basic freedoms.”

The Discussion: 10 Comments

This is just more evidence that Hu Jin Tao has been backpedalling on social reforms. I do not go as far as to say that he enjoys adding even more repression to the prc. I am sure that he would dearly love to reform and make himself famous as the great reformer so many people expected and hoped him to be. I just consider that the added strains in Chinese soceity recently has not given him any choice. The ccp are facing more problems now than ever and he needs the full strength of the state to maintain communist rule. It is very ironic that the richer China becomes and the more quickly the economy expands, the more unhappy the population gets.

October 12, 2005 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

It’s not ironic at all. It’s just historically poignant. A buddy of mine, doing a phd in modern chinese history said a few days ago- ” you know what? mao was right. China is basically a feudal society that exploits the farmers and poor to fuel the urban regions.” And it continues to do so. Mao was unable to rid China of this fricking great historical and cultural inertia, and so it’s no surprise that China has the most new Milllionaires every year, the fastest growing economy, and a great big fast growing gap between urban and rural incomes, indicative of the same culture of feudel dependence of the rich on the poor. I respect Wen and Hu for what they say about equalising incomes and economies of rural and urban factions in China, but I have yet to respect what they do. The tax reforms was a bloody good step, but there needs to be more done.

I think it’s funny that the foreign ministry protests that the report “interferes” with chinese infernal affairs – I mean, internal affairs. what does this mean? how does a report interfere? wtf?

October 12, 2005 @ 5:01 pm | Comment


After people have the basic needs in life, on average, the richer people become, the more stressful they tend to become.

October 12, 2005 @ 7:49 pm | Comment

If China doesn’t want the world to ‘interfere’, why did it join the UN, the WTO, or beg to be allowed to host the Olympics?

October 12, 2005 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

Good point, Laowai, how does a report interfere? People around the world have been writing things saying China has problems for ages, and its still alive and kicking. They need to chill out.

October 12, 2005 @ 8:34 pm | Comment

What, have the operators of the execution vans been slacking off? Don’t you know that Chinese dissidents have the right to a quick and painless death?

Fuck the CCP

October 12, 2005 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

I like Keir’s point:

“If China doesn’t want the world to ‘interfere’, why did it join the UN, the WTO, or beg to be allowed to host the Olympics?”

This is it exactly. China cannot have it both ways. It cannot demand to be a part of the free world and be treated with big respect AND whine like a baby about interference in its internal affairs when another country says something that it either doesn’t like or agree with.

October 13, 2005 @ 8:37 am | Comment

Actually, I guess you consider it interference in terms of U.S. soft power.

The U.S. releases its human rights report, in tandem with those from other areas of the world community, and people take note.

Who on earth took the China report on U.S. human rights seriously? We know there are elements of Chinese society that agree with the U.S. report to some degree. Peasant activists, pro-demo people, Chinese Christians – they will all sympathize, at least a little, with the U.S. report.

Did the African-American community ever cite the Chinese reports section on racism in America? Nope.

October 13, 2005 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

I can’t understand why the government even bothers to respond to these reports as it only recognizes a close minded and powerless “commission” that nobody in the US or China will pay attention to.

October 14, 2005 @ 11:24 pm | Comment

The US is indeed trying to stir things up with their soft power. Just as they have been doing for more than a decade.

You’re all reading too much into the response, though. That statement is standard practice for whenever the US releases anything the CCP doesn’t like. It’s bloody well traditional by now.

Both sides know that they can’t afford to really rock the boat. But they both have domestic audiences to cater for. So the US releases this kind of watered-down crap every so often, and China pretends to be offended.

Everybody wins.

October 15, 2005 @ 11:34 am | Comment

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