Human Rights in China
It is ironic to note that human rights are trampled upon in the name of the greater good in the country which has the most number of humans in the world. Of course, the above statement has been made in reference to China. With a population of 1.3 billion and counting, this country has the most controversial human rights policy in the world.
The Chinese government, spearheaded by Hu Jintao has been pulled up in the past for clamping down upon freedom of speech, movement and religion of its citizens. The authorities, however, refuse to accept this. They instead shift the focus away from these rights and to economic and social rights.
The position of the Chinese government with regard to this issue is that inequalities must be accepted. No two humans are born equal and thus only after accepting inequalities can human rights be given. Also they feel that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are not a set of rigid rights that must be granted to all irrespective of their nationality. Instead they feel that it is only a set of general guidelines that each nation is free to change and specify according to their needs.
However, credible organizations have pointed out that the Chinese government does indeed curb the liberty of the individual. Their freedom of speech has been curbed by implementing a ‘protection of state secret’ clause, basically a clause to punish alleged sedition. Also, the Chinese government blocked Facebook, Twitter and Youtube during the 2009 Urumqi riots (Read http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8137824.stm) as well as Google and Altavista, before they developed their own search engine incorporating censored results of both the above.
The liberty of the press has also been clamped down upon as the Chinese government recognizes only the Communist Party’s Xinhua news agency. Access to foreign news websites are restricted and China has the largest number of imprisoned journalists in the world.
The freedom of religion has been breached as China only allows State-recognized religions to be practiced within the country. The followers of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the Falun Dafa Movement (Falun Gong (alternativelyFalun Dafa) is a system of beliefs and practices founded in China by Li Hongzhi in 1992.)have been severely abused by the government. The Chinese government also does not recognize any other political party and thus is known to arrest and imprison dissident groups.
One of China’s widely criticized policies is the one-child policy. The Chinese government passed this policy in the interest of the country i.e., due to the massive overpopulation, having more than one child is illegal and punishable by payment of a fine. The policy has been relaxed in the recent past, however.
China is a country whose economy is booming, trade is flourishing and people are developing . They hold the future of 1/4th of the world’s population in their hands. It is quite a pity that the Chinese government is taking a non-humanistic stance towards the population. After all, it is the people who make the country what it is. The least the country can do in return is ensure basic civil and political rights to its citizens.