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The Relationship between Human Rights and Development: An Analysis of Chinese Scholars’ Perspectives and the Practice of the Chinese Government
June 28,2017   By:CSHRS

The Relationship between Human Rights and Development: An Analysis of Chinese Scholars’ Perspectives and the Practice of the Chinese Government

ZHANG Wei *& ZHANG Aitong**

Human rights, peace and development are three major tasks undertaken by the United Nations after World War II. Peace is the foundation for the preservation of human rights and promotion of development, which is of universally recognized value. However, the issue of the relationship between human rights and development has been long debated between Eastern and Western countries, and between Northern and Southern countries. The vast majority of developing countries believe that their own poverty and backwardness are the long-term consequence of unfair colonial rule, and that developed countries should compensate them. Therefore, they regard development as a kind of collective human right that developing countries should have, and its obligatory subject should be developed countries. At the same time, developing countries believe that their own unsatisfactory human rights situation is caused by unfair international standards, and that change needs to be built on the basis of economic development. Without development, how should human rights be discussed? While the Western developed countries believe that human rights are the rights of individuals, the state cannot become the subject of the right, so the development task cannot be regarded as an international obligation of developed countries to help developing countries. They also uphold the principle of the supremacy of human rights, requiring developing countries to continuously improve the level of protection of human rights, or they would impose economic sanctions in order to force the advancement of the human rights cause in these countries.

In this debate, the reality we are facing now is that despite the increasing economic aggregate of developing countries, the economic gap between the North and the South continues to widen, and the imbalance between developed and developing countries is still significant. Based on the present situation, this paper introduces the three main perspectives on the relationship between human rights and development, before elaborating on the position of the United Nations on this issue. The third part of this paper explores the interpretation of the Chinese government to the relationship between human rights and development and concludes by summarizing the experience of development, identifying pressing issues, and providing a coping strategy.

I. Three Main Perspectives on the Relationship between Human Rights and Development

Right after the concept of human rights came into being, human rights and development were on two separate tracks. 1 People equate development with economic growth and the accumulation of material wealth, while ignoring the vital importance of human beings as a subject of development. With social progress and development, the traditional concept and model of development have been accompanied by a lot of problems, such as the polarization between the rich and the poor, environmental pollution, and social unrest. The emergence of these problems prompted people to rethink and understand the concept of development, and the center of development has been changed from matter to human.2  However, the relationship between human rights and development is very complex and diverse. There are still wide differences in the understanding of the relationship between human rights and development in different countries, and it is sometimes difficult to summarize them concisely.  3The following three points of view are relatively prominent.

A. Economic and social development is the basis for the realization of human rights protection, so countries should develop the economy first, and then protect human rights.

When there is disagreement on human rights and development objectives, the need for a right may result in the restraint of other rights. 4 The vast majority of developing countries believe economic and social development is the basis for the realization of human rights protection, so they believe that countries should develop the economy first, and then protect human rights. They believe that human rights are associated with economic development, but one or another should be prioritized. 5And they emphasize that the right to subsistence is prior to civil and political rights, which are the primary concern of Europeans. They also take the view that for any country or nation, the right to subsistence is the most important right of all human rights. It is argued that without the right to subsistence, the other rights would become meaningless.

This view holds that economic development and protection of human rights are prioritized, but they have differing importance, often stressing the former rather than the latter. In the Third World countries, such as Asia, Africa and Latin America, political oppression and the deprivation of human rights become the means to expand the private market mechanism and promote the monetarism.6  It obviously violates the law of social development and hinders the development of both society and individuals in society.

B. Human rights are the prerequisite and basis for all aspects of development. Only by safeguarding human rights can economic and social development be realized.

In general, the prevailing view on the relationship between economic and political rights, in particular the relationship between development and human rights, is different in developed and developing countries. Western developed countries mostly meet the above conditions, and thus are better equipped to deal with the contradiction between them.  7They believe that human rights are the prerequisite and basis for all aspects of development. Human rights are created to prevent the infringement of individual rights by state power. 8 Only by ensuring the realization of universal human rights can economic and social development be achieved. At the same time, they argue that some developing countries prefer to emphasize the protection of economic and social rights, which ignores the level of economic development and the protection of freedom. The result is to criticize governments that supposedly violate the right to freedom.

It is worth considering that the countries that hold this view tend to adhere to the universality of human rights, so when they think that there are human rights violations in other countries, they will criticize without hesitation and regard human rights as political tools for the promotion of values of human rights in the world in order to gain political and economic advantage while securing their national interest. The United States is a typical example of this problem. The United States has long viewed itself as the champion of human rights protection. It has used human rights to attack and suppress socialist countries and developing countries without regard to the historical and economic development of other countries, and it has used human rights as the basis for sanctions against other countries, even using military means to violate sovereign states. History has repeatedly proved that such an approach has not created greater freedom for the people of other countries, but has created a greater human rights catastrophe in the world.

C. Human rights and development are interdependent and complementary, and the two cannot be simply separated.

This perspective is that economic and social development is the basis for the realization of human rights, and human rights protection counterbalances economic and social development, and plays an important role in promoting it. As Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeu1 said, “[d]evelopment policy means protection of human rights. From a philosophical point of view, the two cannot be achieved in isolation.” 9 And as Professor Gong Xianghe explained,“[h]uman rights and development are two wheels of a harmonious society, and they are interdependent and mutually promoted. Human rights are both the target and the means of development, and development is essentially a process of expanding human rights.” 10 Luo Yanhua also argued,“[t]he combination of human rights and development is the right to development. Development is the fundamental way to realize human rights. Economic development is the prerequisite for the full realization of human rights, and the development of human rights is a gradual and spontaneous process. ”11  On the basis of the above two scholars’ views, Zhang Xiaoling further pointed out: “[h]uman rights and development are interdependent and complementary.”12  In recent years, this view has been gradually recognized by the international community; the economic structural adjustment policies around human rights implemented by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank around the world are reflecting the further integration of human rights and development.13

But it is noteworthy that human rights cannot be simply integrated into development, and it should be regarded as a measuring standard of development. The guarantee of human rights permeating all areas of society is an important part of development. Human rights are necessary conditions of the rights themselves.  14Human rights and economic development move forward together, and they interrelate and cannot be separated.

II. The Position of United Nations on the Relationship between Human rights and Development

One of the purposes of the United Nations is to promote international cooperation for the promotion of economic and social development, and universal respect for and observance of human rights. This paper explores the position of the United Nations on the relationship between human rights and development, focusing on the evolution of the position of the United Nations on the relationship between human rights and development.

With regard to the evolution of the position of the United Nations position on the relationship between human rights and development, there is no definite division of the stages among scholars. However, by reading a large number of documents of United Nations and taking into account the views of many experts and scholars, this paper argues that the evolution of the position of United Nations on the relationship between human rights and development can be divided into three stages with significant progress in the field of human rights.

A. The early separation of human rights and development

As early as 1945, the Charter of the United Nations had stipulated that one of the purposes of the United Nations is “to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.”But for decades, human rights and development have always been discussed as two distinct issues. Either in theory or in practice, human rights and development were not closely linked. For example, at the United Nations institutional level, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which is under the authority of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, is responsible for coordinating the activities of United Nations in the field of human rights, while the United Nations Development Program, as a subsidiary body of the United Nations, is tasked to provide support and help to promote the sustainable development of mankind. The two bodies perform their duties separately, and their contact is not close.

B. The reform of “mainstreaming of human rights”

Human rights issues resolve social contradictions, and the purpose of social development is to liberate and develop the individual. Therefore, the protection of human rights clears the obstacles to development and promotes rapid economic and social development. This shows that the mainstreaming of human rights is the inevitable result of social development. Without human rights, it is bound to lag behind.

To date, there has been no clear and uniform definition of the mainstreaming of human rights, but changes in the mainstreaming of human rights are reflected in all aspects of the work of the United Nations. At the first World Conference on Human Rights, held in Tehran in 1968, the relationship between human rights and development was heavily valued. In 1969, the United Nations, through the Declaration on Social Progress and Development, made it clear that the issue of development should be viewed from a human rights perspective. The Declaration states that “social progress and development shall be founded on respect for the dignity and value of the human person and shall ensure the promotion of human rights and social justice”.After the adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development at the forty-first session of the General Assembly in 1986, the international community began to link the promotion of human rights with development in practice by stating that human beings were the mainstay of development and that every person had the right to participate in, promote and enjoy the economic, social, cultural and political development,in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized. In 1993, the World Conference on Human Rights adopted the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action, made it clear that human rights and development were interdependent and mutually reinforcing. In 1997, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his report “Renewing the United Nations: A Program for Reform”, called on all States to give equal weight to human rights and safe development, and to integrate human rights into all the work of United Nations, that is, to mainstream human rights issues in all the work of United Nations. “One of the main tasks of the United Nations is to strengthen its human rights program and to integrate it into a wide range of activities of United Nations.” 15 The mainstreaming of human rights has been formally and explicitly reflected, and human rights issues have begun to appear as mainstreaming issues in social, economic, political, cultural and other fields. It began solely in the discussions of experts and scholars, but the shift in the relationship between human rights and development from a fragmented to a converging sense has been reflected in the United Nations, typically in awareness of individual rights of the UNDP and its “Human” considerations in the development plan.  16Such progress has contributed to the development and implementation of all the work of United Nations and ensures that the three pillars of peace, development and human rights within the United Nations system are interrelated and mutually reinforcing.

But it is worth noting that although advocated by the international community, the mainstreaming of human rights is not well implemented in practice at this stage, the link between human rights and development has not been well reflected.

C. Progress from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is a unanimous plan adopted by all then 191 UN member states to reduce global poverty by half (by the 1990 levels) by 2015. It draws a blueprint for common development for different countries and major development agencies from eight areas, and demands that these countries and institutions go all out to meet the needs of the world’s poorest people. However, the MDGs only applies to the so-called developing countries, and it is only represented by specific economic and social rights, neglecting other important human rights and artificially breaks the interrelated, interdependent objective reality of the human rights.

In line with the MDGs, the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development was held in New York on September 25, 2015. The then 193 member countries of the United Nations formally adopted 17 sustainable development goals, which guide the global development effort from 2015 to 2030 after the Millennium Development Goals.

Among them, the first and second goals, “eradicating poverty, eliminating hunger”, protect the most basic of human rights, which is the right to subsistence. The realization of this target is particularly important for the majority of the developing countries. To ensure that people fully acquire the food, shelter and other necessities of living they depend on is the prerequisite of all development. The second goal “good health and well-being” and the sixth goal “clean water and sanitation” guarantee the right to health, which is compatible with many international conventions and domestic constitutions and laws. There is no doubt that the physical health of individuals is not only the prerequisite for their development, but also the basis for individual development to promote the national and social development. The fourth sustainability goal focuses on “quality education”. The right to education is an important part of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Good education and access to all areas of expertise are favorable factors for a person’s comprehensive and healthy development. The individual can enhance awareness of their rights through various forms of education, and promote their development in and after the process of education. The fifth goal “gender equality” is compatible with the purposes of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the equality between men and women protects the right to equality of persons. The eighth goal provides for citizens to obtain “decent jobs and economic growth” and the tenth goal stipulates “narrowing the gap”, which protects citizens’ right to development. As the third generation of human rights, the main body of the right to development is the unity of collective rights and individual rights, which is in line with the requirements of the times.  17The seventh goal,  “clean energy”, the ninth goal “industry, innovation and basic societies”, the eleventh goal “sustainable cities and communities”, the twelfth goal “responsive consumption and production”, the thirteenth goal “climate action”, the fourteenth goal “sustainable use and conservation of ‘underwater organisms’” and the fifteenth goal “sustainable use and protection of ‘terrestrial organisms’” guarantee the right to development of humans and combine human development with a good and sustainable natural environment and social environment so as to achieve mutual promotion. The sixteenth goal “peace, justice and strong institutions” concerns democratic governance, the rule of law, access to justice and personal security, providing a good social environment for development by promoting civil employment and curbing corruption. Finally, based on national environment, the seventeenth goal highlights “partnerships for the attainment of goals”and explores the link between the protection of human rights and the promotion of development.

In addition, the theme “measuring human rights for sustainable development” is an important topic for OHCHR in 2016. Under this topic, OHCHR notes that there is a growing recognition that human rights are essential to the achievement of sustainable development. 18 Deliberation on human rights issues should be reflected in all aspects of development.

The analysis of the relationship between human rights and development in the above two development goals shows that the international community is beginning to recognize the importance of human rights at the MDGs stage, but human rights and development are still fragmented and stipulated in two different sections of the document. While the term “human rights” is not used directly at the Sustainable Development Goals stage, the elaboration of relevant human rights issues shows that human rights principles and standards have been reflected as important elements in a new global framework for development, and the Sustainable Development Goals is also a good interpretation of the relationship between human rights and development. In addition to its broad social, economic and environmental goals, the Sustainable Development Goals not only promises to build a “a more peaceful, just and inclusive society free from fear and violence”, but also focuses on democratic governance, the rule of law, access to justice, personal safety and a conducive international environment. Thus, the Sustainable Development Goals cover all human rights, including civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, in which the right to development is included. In summary, the MDGs mainly aims at development assistance to developing countries, in order to reduce extreme poverty and improve the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people and meet their basic needs; while the Sustainable Development Goals is global and universal, and it is covering all areas of sustainable development. Seen from the growth model, the MDGs emphasizes poverty reduction, and the traditional growth model often leads to resource destruction, environmental pollution and social collateral damage in realizing it, while the Sustainable Development Goals is more inclusive, which considers economic, social, environmental and individual factors, and conforms to the objective laws of social development.19

Progress from the MDGs to Sustainable Development Goals has undoubtedly contributed to the integration of human rights and development and has been further recognized in the international community. The protection of human rights must be reflected in all aspects of the agenda for development. In this regard, the Indian economist Amartya Sen said: “Development should be re-defined, and the development process of social change should be noted. The ultimate goal of development is not the increase in per capita GNP standards, the level of industrialization or urbanization.”  20He affirmed the role of material means for development, but believed that it could serve only as a tool for development and as an instrumental one. The ultimate goal of development is related to quality of life and happiness, and it must be clear that as a social individual, human well-being is the starting point and the foothold of the development. In June 2013, the Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN) presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with a report named “Action Agenda for Sustainable Development”. The report addresses the ten most pressing tasks for the sustainable development of mankind, such as addressing extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring that all children and young people can learn effectively for their livelihoods, and that all people have access to gender equality, social inclusion and human rights, and everyone enjoys the right to health, happiness and clean energy.21  At the same time, the report stresses that every nation has the right to development, human rights and social inclusiveness, and that the protection of human rights and the promotion of development complement each other in a same process.

The development agenda underpinned by the United Nations, which is based on the principles of sustainable development, has gained increasing recognition and support from the international community. At the same time, with the clearing of sustainable development goals, the integration of human rights and development is manifested not only in the theoretical level, but also in practice. Starting from the earliest attention focused only in the economic field, human rights issues have gradually infiltrated various disciplines and fields; human rights knowledge has begun to become the process of personnel training in general education.

While the understanding of human rights and development issues has undergone three stages and great progress at the United Nations level, with the emergence of new problems such as food crisis, global economic crisis, climate change, energy crisis and natural disasters, the United Nations development agenda continues to face major challenges, and developing countries are particularly vulnerable to these challenges. In this regard, poverty eradication, employment, development models, the green economy and other core issues have been given a higher priority and importance by the international community and of common concern to the developed and developing countries.  22The reason for this is that the eradication of poverty, the resolution of employment and the promotion of development embody the most basic human rights, and the protection of human rights can clear the way for development, which further explains the crucial role of the realization of human rights in the promotion of development.

III. The Interpretation by the Chinese Government of the Relationship between Human rights and Development

This section will focus on the interpretation by the Chinese government of the relationship between human rights and development. In short, from keeping silent about this matter at the early stage, to beginning to explore it after White Paper of 1991 on Human Rights, and then to incorporating human rights into the Constitution in 2004, until today, where human rights are discussed at all levels, the understanding by the Chinese government of the relationship between human rights and development has undergone a long and significant process. By combing the relevant documents of the Chinese government and the views of relevant experts and scholars, this paper divides the interpretation by the Chinese government of the relationship between human rights and development into four stages.

A. From the early days of the founding of the PRC to 1980s: the separation of human rights and development

At the beginning of the founding of the PRC, the Common Program, which played the role of the provisional constitution, stipulated the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens, and the people were liberated from the “three big mountains” and became the masters of the country. At the same time the economy and society developed rapidly. The Constitution of 1954 provided for the basic rights of citizens in fourteen articles. However, with the coming of the “Great Leap Forward”, “Cultural Revolution” and other special historical periods, the basic rights of citizens have declined sharply and the national economy had retrogressed. Only two provisions of the Constitution of 1975 stipulated the basic rights of citizens, at which point the economy was on the brink of collapse.

It can be seen that the development of the national economy is closely related to the protection of the basic rights of citizens, but the Chinese government at that time did not recognize this point. Human rights and development were in a fragmented state, and the economic and social development suffered bottlenecks at this stage.

B. The White Paper on Human Rights in 1991: a shift in perceptions

In 1991, the Chinese government published its first white paper on human rights, which elaborated China’s basic position and policies on human rights issues, introduced a great deal of facts about the fundamental changes in China’s human rights situation since the founding of the PRC, and promoted the international community’s correct understanding of it. Since then, China has gradually accepted the internationally recognized concept of human rights and its institutional framework, and comprehensively understood the interdependence between human rights and development. Human rights has become a hot topic, the academic research on human rights issues has become widespread, and people have realized that human rights is no longer limited to the field of diplomacy in the form of the confrontation between the ideology of China and the West, but reflected in more extensive and more realistic areas in domestic, political and social life.23

In 1992, Deng Xiaoping’s speech on the southern tour further expanded this notion; laying a foundation for the development of the human rights concept in China and the gradual establishment of the human rights protection mechanism. In 2002, the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China established “respecting and safeguarding human rights” as an important objective of the Party and the country’s development in the new stage and emphasized respecting and safeguarding human rights in the political reform.

C. Human Rights in the Constitution in 2004: protection of basic civil rights under the guidance of the principle of universality

In 2004, the Second Session of the Tenth National People’s Congress passed the Constitutional Amendment to incorporate “the state respects and preserves human rights” into the Constitution. This showed that the Chinese government has begun to realize that all legislative activities cannot be separated from thinking about human rights issues and has begun to protect human rights in the form of fundamental law. Since then, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee regarded “respect and protect human rights, to ensure that the people enjoy a wide range of rights and freedoms” as an important part of improving the ability to govern. In 2006, the Sixth Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee decided on the basic principles of building a harmonious society, that is, people-oriented first, followed by scientific development. Human rights and development are interacting benignly and developing coordinately, they are interdependent and mutually promoted.

D. The stage after the formulation of the National Action Plan for Human Rights: further clarification of the relationship between human rights and development

In accordance with the principles of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action adopted by the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, the constitutional principle of “the state respects and preserves human rights” and the provisions of the Constitution on “fundamental rights and obligations of citizens”, in addition with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the relevant international human rights conventions, based on the national situation, the Chinese government issued the National Human Rights Action Plan (2009-2010) in 2009, and updated the plan in 2012. The National Human Rights Action Plan was the first national plan China has formulated on the theme of human rights. The Action Planclearly stipulates the objectives and specific measures of the Chinese government in the promotion and protection of human rights.

Among them, the National Human Rights Action Plan (2009-2010) pointed out that the Chinese government was people-oriented and safeguarded the rights of the people. The Chinese government implemented the constitutional principles of “the state respects and preserves human rights”, put the protection of the people’s rights to subsistence and development in the position of primary importance in the protection of human rights. Based on promoting sound and fast economic and social development, the Chinese government ensured the participation and the rights of equal development of all members of society according to law. The National Plan of Action for Human Rights (2012-2015) was divided into six Chapters that stipulated the economic, social and cultural rights of citizens; civil and political rights; rights of ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and the disabled; the education of human rights; the implementation of international human rights treaty obligations and international human rights exchanges and cooperation, as well as the implementation and monitoring thereof.

In connection with the national economic plan, the national human rights action plans fully embodies the characteristics of human rights discourse in China and establishes a more systematic human rights framework system with Chinese characteristics. It is closely related to the national economic and social development plan, and it is not a single, one-sided view of the improvement of GDP per capita, the level of industrialization and the level of urbanization as the development of economic indicators. It promotes the people-oriented development concept, makes clear the importance of protection of human rights in the realization of economic and social development and expresses a series of goals regarding the protection of rights in national construction and social development planning.

It is noteworthy, however, that the indivisible relationship between human rights and development remains at the cognitive level, and the integration of human rights and development in practice remains a major problem. President Xi Jinping pointed out at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development that the ultimate goal of development is for the people. We should strive for fair, open, comprehensive and innovative development to achieve economic, social and economically coordinated development while eradicating poverty and ensuring people’s livelihood. So far, China has taken a step forward in improving the relationship between human rights and development.

In April 2016, the 23rd meeting of the Central Leading Group for Deepening Reform was held, and Xi Jinping first proposed reform in two directions: development, and fairness and justice. It is noted that the maintenance of social fairness and justice cannot be separated from the protection of basic human rights of citizens. So that citizens have a “sense of gain”, that is, in the overall design of the reform, the initiatives of social undertakings, security and improvement of people’s livelihood can be truly implemented so that people can achieve what they have expected and to promote their sense of gain. This confirms once again that the fundamental human rights of the people’s livelihood and the protection of citizens’political, economic and cultural life are the key to reform and development. The meeting provided a political orientation for the relationship between human rights and development and it also shows that the interpretation by the Chinese Government of the relationship between human rights and development is advancing with the times and in line with the “mainstream”concept of the United Nations.

IV. Conclusion

To sum up, the protection of human rights can promote economic and social development from two aspects. On the one hand, human rights issues solve fundamental social contradictions, and protect human rights to promote the development of social productive forces. As Professor Gong Xianghe said, productivity is the decisive force to promote social development, and the labor force is the primary factor in productivity, while the change of the labor force depends on the subjective wishes of the workers and the objective situation. Therefore, safeguarding human rights and ensuring the realization of workers’ rights in all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life can play a positive role in promoting the workforce, productivity and ultimately promoting social development.  24On the other hand, the protection of human rights and private property of citizens, and the implementation of social insurance policies such as medical insurance, can generally improve the living standards of working people, which are conducive to the accumulation of material wealth, and can encourage them to “dare” to consume to some extent, and then stimulate domestic demand and promote economic development.

As a developing country, China recognizes the importance of keeping pace with the times and adapting to the trend of international social development. In the context of further elaboration of the relationship between human rights and development, the Indian economist Amartya Sen’s concept of development has made some contribution to the thinking in relation to Chinese problems. He put forward the theory and method of poverty of rights, and thought that the reasons for poverty should be expanded from economic factors to politics, law, culture and system. In addition, he put the poverty problem into a comprehensive study of economics, ethics, politics and sociology. 25 This also reminds us that in the process of realizing the integration of human rights and development, China should first consider, but not be confined to, the economic sphere. Human rights and development should be a subject of wider consideration.

The Chinese government and society have begun to understand human rights, think about the relationship between human rights and development, and gradually recognize the interdependence and complementarities of human rights and development. The universal realization of human rights needs to be based on economic and social development, while the healthy and rapid economic and social development cannot be separated from the primary protection of human rights. In addition, the protection of basic human rights is the basis for resolving major social contradictions. It can clear the obstacles for economic development, and improve social development. People’s material life and spiritual life will surely promote the realization of human rights. This is the basis for the Chinese government to formulate laws and regulations, relevant policies and development strategies, and it is also the consensus of the current academic circles.

However, in practice, both the real integration of human rights and development, and the formation of the complementary situation of human rights and development, are not easy. China lacks a comprehensive and in-depth study of the relationship between human rights and development. The lack of interdisciplinary thinking capacity and the lack of talent in acquiring the knowledge of human rights, economic management, and social development theory are the core of the problem. This is the sequela left by economists and human rights jurists differentiating their positions at the beginning of the development of human rights. Economists plan for the national economic development, but the reality is that these experts mastering the direction of national economic development lack of the knowledge of human rights protection. The lack of integration of human rights awareness and initiatives in social development strategies will hinder not only the development of human rights theory, but also the coordinated and sustainable economic and social development to a great extent.
 

*ZHANG Wei ( 张伟 ), co-director at Institute for Human Rights Studies, China University of Political Science and Law.

**ZHANG Aitong(张爱桐), postgraduate student at Institute for Human Rights,China University of Political Science and Law.

1A. Eide, “Human Rights’ Requirements for Social and Economic Development”, Foreign Law Review, no.4 (1997): 7.

2Zhang Xiaoling, “On the Relationship between Human Rights and Development”, Pacific Journal, no. 11(2008): 21.

3J. D. Sethi, “Human Rights and Development”, Human Rights Quarterly3,no.3(1981): 11.

4Ibid., 15.

5Ken Freeman andGustav Galatz, “The Differences between European and Chinese Human Rights Concepts”, trans. Zhu Ming,Chinese Journal of European Studies, no. 2(2011): 73.

6J. D. Sethi, “Human Rights and Development”, 18.

7Ibid., 14.

8Guo Chunzhen, “On the Relationship between Two Human Rights Preferences and the Positive Orientation of Human Rights in China”, Law Review, no. 2 (2012): 11.

9Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, “Human Rights and Development”, Environmental Policy and Law, no.5(2008): 249.

10Gong Xianghe,“Human Rights and Development in the Construction of a Harmonious Society”, Law Science Magazine, no. 2 (2008): 33.

11Luo Yanhua, “How to Look at the Relationship between Human Rights and Development - One of the Focuses of the North-South Human Rights Struggle in the Post-Cold War Era”, World Economics and Politics, no. 8 (1996): 26.

12Zhang Xiaoling, “Relationship between Human Rights and Development”, 21.

13Danilo Türk,“Development and Human Rights”, Studies in Transnational Legal Policy 26 (1994): 167.

14John O’Manique, “Human Rights and Development”, Human Rights Quarterly, no. 14 (1992): 78.

15The Fifty-first Session of the United Nations General Assembly,“Renewing the United Nations: a Program for Reform - Report of the Secretary-General”, United Nations document, A/51/950 (Chinese version), p.26, para.79.

16David P. Forsythe, “The United Nations, Human Rights and Development”, Human Rights Quarterly,no. 19 (1997): 345.

17He Ying, “Right to Development: Safeguarding the Realization and Development of Human Rights”, Expanding Horizons, no. 5 (2008): 18.

18Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,Sustainable Development Goals - Human Rights and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, available on the website of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:http://www.ohchr.org/CH/Issues/MDG/Pages/The2030Agenda.aspx.

19Chen Ying, “United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda: Progress and Prospects”, Journal of China University of Geosciences (Social Science Edition), no. 5 (2014): 15.

20Li Bingyan and Wang Chong, “Amartya Sen’s View of Development and Its Enlightenment to China’s Scientific Development”, Economist, no. 2 (2012): 100.

21Sustainable Development Solution Network,“An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development”, accessed 25 November, 2016, http://unsdsn.org/resources/publications/an-action-agenda-for-sustainable-development/.

22Sun Yiran, “Status and Trends of the United Nations Development Agenda”, Contemporary International Relations, no. 9 (2012): 42.

23Xiao Jinming, “Human Rights Framework and Rights Guarantee System with Chinese Characteristics - Reading the National Human Rights Action Plan (2009-2010)”, Contemporary Law Review, no. 5 (2009): 22.

24J. D. Sethi, “Human Rights and Development”, 14.

25Ma Xinwen, “Review of Amartya Sen’s Theory and Method of Poverty of Rights”, Social Sciences Abroad, no. 2 (2008): 69.