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The Action Logic of China’s Human Rights Development in Three Dimensions
June 26,2022   By:CSHRS
The Action Logic of China’s Human Rights Development in Three Dimensions
 
HE Zhipeng*
 
Abstract: Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a milestone in China’s human rights development. It clearly reflects the profound action logic of the CPC leading the Chinese people to fight for and realize the protection of rights. At the level of values, the logic of rights for China’s human rights development is mainly manifested in four aspects: prioritizing the right to subsistence and the right to development in the rights system; importance given to citizenship and democracy by the goal of building a moderately prosperously society in all respects; advocating the right to unity and the right to participate in the common cause of the Chinese people; implementing the responsibility of leaders and managers to safeguard human rights. At the practical level, the protection logic of China’s human rights development mainly includes four links: firstly, gradual upgrading is a reliable procedure for the coordination of the human rights system; secondly, the rule of law is a solid foundation for the steady development of human rights; thirdly, the courage to explore is the important factor for the success of human rights practice; lastly, seeking common ground while shelving differences is the key consensus for mutual learning among human rights civilizations. In terms of time and space, China’s human rights development has achieved world-recognized success, laying a solid foundation for this endeavor to proceed, and providing experience and reference for people all over the world to pursue common human rights ideals.
 
Keywords: building a moderately prosperous society in all respects · China’s human rights · rights logic · protection logic · time and space logic
 
I. Raising the Issue
 
This decade is an era full of challenges and it will be of great significance for China and the rest of the world. In July 2021, at the general meeting celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the CPC, Chinese President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that China had fulfilled the task of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and taken a historic step by eliminating absolute poverty.1 Building a moderately prosperous society in all respects is a vital endeavor China has completed and a milestone achievement in the field of human rights that has attracted worldwide attention. After finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, China will further promote all-round economic and social development and strive to develop itself into a modern socialist country in all respects. This means that building a moderately prosperous society was a crucial point in China’s human rights development journey. China’s cause of human rights has reached a relatively satisfactory level, laying a solid foundation for protecting human rights more convincingly. It also means that the protection and realization of human rights in China will reach a higher level with the concerted efforts of the government and all members of society.
 
The building of a moderately prosperous society is an accomplishment that cannot be ignored in the history of human rights in China. It provides an opportunity to review the country’s recent history, draw some lessons, and look into the future and plan for the long term. Looking back on the history of the Communist Party of China since its founding in 1921, it is not hard to see that the CPC has always been committed to national independence, people’s liberation, national prosperity and the people’s well-being. Over the past century, the CPC has made remarkable achievements and gained rich experience in the cause of human rights.2 A review of the progress in human rights since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 shows that the rights of the Chinese people have been promoted and improved in all respects.3 By sorting out the experience accumulated and formed in the system and process of China’s exploration and development of human rights and probing into the laws and principles contained therein, we have created some works with academic value.4 However, the logic embodied in the choice and realization of substantive rights in China’s human rights practice still deserves serious consideration, careful analysis, in-depth exploration and persistent quest.
 
II. The Logic of China’s Human Rights Development
 
The concept of China’s human rights development mainly refers to the subjects and objects of its human rights framework, especially issues such as which human rights should be protected in contemporary China, how to prioritize human rights, and how to make interaction between the advocates for human rights and the duty bearers. China has blazed a new trail for human rights development that is both feasible and effective.
 
A. Prioritizing the right to subsistence and the right to development
 
Among all human rights, there are not a few worthy of attention5. However, due to limited social resources, effectively prioritizing these rights and promoting practical protection is an issue every country must face. Political elites, economists and legal experts from all over the world have discussed repeatedly and proposed various suggestions on how developing countries can get rid of poverty and backwardness, enhance the protection of human rights and rank themselves among modern countries. But so far, there is no good solution. Over the past few decades, few developing countries have succeeded in modernizing in a real sense and have encountered a lot of difficulties in whatever way they choose. Against this background, China’s modernization drive under the theme of “Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects” has made remarkable achievements with the resolute and steadfast efforts of the CPC and all the Chinese people, and won the general appreciation of both experts and the public, providing a high-level and high-quality solution to solve the problem.6 China’s thoughts, propositions, and measures of human rights are successful experiences in building a moderately prosperous society, and also the core code of China’s human rights and its systems for economic and social construction.
 
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC continued to follow the principle of focusing on improving people’s livelihoods in its governance. Since the first five-year plan (1953-1957), the CPC has actively promoted economic development and improved people’s living standards, which strongly refuted the false assessment that the CPC was expert in leading troops in war while a layman in economic construction.7 In particular, the reform and opening-up policy invigorated domestic and foreign markets, unleashed productive forces and improved people’s living standards. The idea that “full granaries contribute to people’s observance of proprieties” has been confirmed in Chinese history. Based on that, the CPC led the Chinese people to start with economic construction, with the aim of letting some people get rich first and then realize the common prosperity. With a stable economic environment, the CPC actively promoted social development in all areas and improved human rights in all respects. Since then, fresh forces have continually come forward to take place of those who have pushed ahead. The country’s GDP has steadily increased, economic and social development has improved from quantitative growth to qualitative progress, and a decisive victory has been achieved in poverty alleviation, lifting all rural people out of poverty.8 The people have taken on a new look. The CPC has always been dedicated to meeting people’s aspirations for a better life, making substantial contributions to protecting basic human rights.9 In 1991, China issued its first White Paper on human rights,10 attracting extensive attention in academic and professional circles.11 The White Paper presents a systematic review of the great course of human rights in China up to that time, puts forward the concept of China’s human rights, summarizes the features of China’s human rights, and expresses China’s position and confidence in respecting and protecting human rights. It considers the right to subsistence and the right to development as the primary human rights. It proposes phased goals for Chinese human rights in terms of building on a foundation and baseline that fit China’s historical stage and social condition. On the way to building a moderately prosperous society, the country has joined hands with other countries to improve human rights in developing countries by means of such international cooperation frameworks as the Belt and Road Initiative.12
 
China’s human rights practices go beyond the “Washington Consensus” by prioritizing the right to development.13 Some Western economists have provided effective medicine for the development of developing countries, attempting to use partial liberalization, privatization of state-owned enterprises, deregulation of state control, and shifting of crucial public spending as good remedies for development. This plan is known as the Washington Consensus. Some international organizations also regard it as the golden rule for developing countries to achieve prosperity. But it turns out that these methods have failed to bring economic prosperity in Latin American countries.14 Therefore, it is a widely held view in economics that the Washington Consensus encountered failure.15 The reason lies in its failure to grasp the key to the development of developing countries, i.e., the effective improvement of people’s living standards. The way to effectively promote the sound development of the country and the driving force for improving people’s livelihoods are to activate the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of the people and always take the development of productive forces as the most fundamental goal.16 From this point of view, it is not hard to see that the “Washington Consensus”, which emphasizes such factors as private ownership, deregulation, interest rate liberalization, and deregulation of foreign investment, rather than productivity development, as being tantamount to losing the substance for the shadow and seeking roses in December. However, China has always put the right to development the top priority in its plan of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects.17 In other words, the development of the productive forces is the first among all development goals. When the development of productive forces reaches a certain level, further consideration should be given to how to improve the political, cultural, scientific and technological, and even ecological environment. Taking the right to development as the standard and focus of contemporary China’s rule of law on human rights is the key to developing contemporary China’s rule of law on human rights.18 It constitutes a clear and orderly development strategy. The strategy will provide proper guidance for the development of the country, and will not cause the country to fall into the dilemma of confusing the primary with secondary and placing back to front. For this reason, many economists and sociologists believe that the “Washington Consensus” should give way to the “Beijing Consensus”,19 and China’s plan of building a moderately prosperous society might be the proper road for developing countries in economic and social development in an all-round, healthy and orderly way. 
 
B. Building a moderately prosperously society in all respects with importance given to citizenship and democracy
 
For many Western countries, it is miraculous that China has made persistent and fruitful efforts for economic development and the improvement of people’s livelihoods. Instead of meticulously analyzing the spirit of hard work and frugality behind China’s economic boom after the launch of the reform and opening-up policy, some people make an arbitrary judgment that the CPC only leads the Chinese people in economic development but fails to move forward politically. It is a one-sided and inadequate understanding of the great project of China’s development. In fact, China clarified a series of democratic rights as early as 1954, when it introduced its Constitution and further popularized them around the country.20 Although they followed a zigzag course afterwards, the CPC members quickly learned from both positive and negative experiences. They repeatedly emphasized socialist democracy in the early days of reform and opening up, with protecting and improving citizens’ political rights as an essential goal of national construction and social development.21 In a congratulatory letter marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Xi Jinping pointed out that living a happy life is the primary human right.22 A “happy life” goes beyond people’s livelihoods and basic needs. It establishes the complex orientation and multidimensional orientation of human rights in various fields, including civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, the right to live in peace, the right to development, and the right to a healthy environment. In practice, from poverty alleviation to moderate prosperity in all respects, from fighting against the pandemic to enjoying clean water and green mountains, the Chinese people have been improving their rights in all areas of social life.23 Therefore, both in law and in reality, both at the national political level and at the grassroots level, China has made great progress in democracy.24 The right to be informed, the right to expression, the right to participate, the right to supervision and other rights of citizens are increasingly fully guaranteed. The comprehensive democracy under the guidance of the Constitution is helping new China promote sound and continuous development so it can avoid falling foul of “historical periodicity”.
 
From a global perspective, it can be said that China has leapfrogged the “middle-income trap” by gradually expanding democratic rights and formed a development-based human rights system, which has exerted an impact on northeast Asian countries.25 In the modernization of developing countries, the “middle-income trap” often appears. The core problem lies in the one-sided pursuit of economic indicators. At the same time, the development of cultural and social factors, especially the rule of law, morality and ethical sentiments, has not gone hand in hand and coordinated. Therefore, the social chaos caused by the economic rise and the rifts between people has gradually increased. There is a wealth divide and digital divide, and also a value divide and concept divide. The existence of these divides fundamentally hinders the further sound and sustainable development of developing countries, which is why modernization sinks to a low ebb, falls into troubled waters or even fails. China’s moderate prosperity starts from economic development as the core, puts a constant emphasis on the rule of law and social pluralism governance, the ideological and moral education of the masses, and the construction of party members’ advanced ruling ideas and the Scientific Outlook on Development. In essence, they are all problem-oriented strategic designs aimed at limiting ideological deviation, legal system deviation and social ethics deviation that may appear in the process of economic development. Some Western scholars hold that socio-economic development cannot be promoted before democracy. But a good and proper development path cannot be found only by people expressing their opinions and voting through democratic means. Only by combining democracy with a scientific outlook on development can economic development be truly promoted. Meanwhile, it should not be overlooked that high-quality, efficient economic development can promote a democratic mentality. Without a solid economic base, it is difficult for people to have the enthusiasm and initiative to participate in national affairs when they are suffering from cold and hunger. Although these factors do play a positive role in the modernization of a country, their significance won’t show up until productivity has developed to a certain level. That is to say, when a country has not reached that level, it is impossible to propose policies that have no obvious positive significance to promoting social development. In this sense, from the original “well-off families” to “moderate prosperity in all respects”, the CPC members constantly innovate and leap forward in governing the country, continually putting forward new goals for social governance based on new social scenarios, and advance bravely and never withdraw until those goals are reached.
 
C. Advocating the right to unity and the right to participate in the common cause of the Chinese people
 
In some developing countries on the road to modernization, the governments have laid out good ideas and designed comprehensive systems, but they are far from satisfactory in implementation. Such a situation largely resulted from the failure to stimulate the enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity of the people who lack trust in and identification with the government, bringing about the Tacitus Trap,26 at that moment, modernization became a finite ideal for state officials and the upper class. The masses were passive and dominated objects, excluded from the state-designed development blueprint.27 Most people have a natural tendency to inertia. Therefore, if the public is not fully informed and involved in the modernization of the country, the prosperity,development and strength of the country will become “their cause” instead of “our cause.” Most people just sit back and watch indifferently, waiting for a good social order to emerge, for national indicators to improve themselves, and for an affluent life to befall them. Such passiveness is undoubtedly not conducive to the prosperity and development of the country and the sustainable development of society. Therefore, only by being inclusive of the differences of the people can we embrace a truly beneficial and sound development. Instead, those development paths that only include the benefits of a few people and are designed by political bureaucrats or economic powerhouses will fail to let people feel like masters of their own affairs, nor adapt to the steady progress of modernization, root in the people, or keep improving and prospering.
 
China’s “moderate prosperity in all respects” is committed to the concept of positive interaction between the government and the people in social construction. It calls for “Not One Less” on the path to moderate prosperity and “Not One Left Behind” on the path to common prosperity. The moderately prosperous society built by the people under the leadership of the CPC is an inclusive modernization, and also a people-centered modernization. Such ideology incorporates the masses in the blueprint of a moderately prosperous society instead of marginalizing or defamiliarizing them. Peoples’ yearning for a better life is the goal of China’s social modernization in which the people should be involved.28 For fear of marginalizing the people in building the moderately prosperous society in all respects, the CPC and the Chinese government have always stressed that the leading officials should consider how to get people involved in advance and in the whole process to pool wisdom and strength, and that the achievements should be evaluated and approved by the people. The planning and efforts in building a moderate prosperity should be transformed into people’s sense of gain, happiness and satisfaction. Obviously, such modernization will be widely welcomed and deeply supported by the people, so its achievements will be more solid, and its development process will have inexhaustible impetus. Meanwhile, the high-quality progress of the policies related to moderate prosperity in all respects is largely attributed to the loyalty, integrity and responsibility of China’s leading officials, especially of the grassroots Party officials, who take the lead and forge ahead steadily. Bureaucratism and overstaffing are headaches common in the stratification of the modern political systems in many countries, which makes it difficult to tackle problems, and prevent and combat corruption in the process of social governance. In China, leading officials receive education in ideals and beliefs, and also are given a boost to the morale to work hard and devote themselves to their cause with positive and negative examples, thus avoiding and curbing corruption to the greatest extent.29
 
The most direct and important inspiration China’s experience accumulated in the process of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects provides the world is that all measures for social development and evolution should fully consider the requirements of the country and the requirements of the people for human rights. As China has long since learned, a country should find its own way and pace of development instead of copying from other countries indiscriminately. For all countries, it is necessary to draw on its traditional culture, make thorough investigation and research, and take their own path based on their own national situations in order to successfully advance their development and truly and effectively protect human rights.30 Practice cannot be guided by theories that have not yet been thoroughly tested by practice. The recognition and protection of human rights is a down-to-earth process, and every bit of progress in every country is hard-won. However, given various uncertainties, it is easy to encounter risks and difficulties, so we must be cautious as if treading on eggs. The national development of human rights should be designed with loyalty and responsibility to the people and persistence for achievement. Only in this way can the cause of human rights progress and the path of human rights be further broadened.
 
D. Implementing the responsibility of leaders and managers to safeguard human rights
 
Many scholars on human rights have keenly been aware that China’s Human Rights focuses on people-centered practice.31 It is clear that a legal system designed only by rights, without duties and responsibilities, is a castle in the air that will not work. The mechanism that only establishes the people’s rights system but fails to implement the responsibility of government management is nothing more than a mirage. The core impetus for the steady progress and gradual achievement of human rights in China lies in the clear requirements for leaders and managers. It is clearly seen that there are still many Western politicians, scholars and media who are skeptical or even negative about the CPC’s cause of human rights and its achievements.32 Except for a few with concealed intentions, these doubters largely misunderstand the CPC’s vision, action and system of respecting, protecting and promoting human rights.33 Facts speak louder than words. The CPC’s sincere attitude in respecting human rights, practical actions in advancing human rights, and gradual achievements in realizing human rights have won the support and affirmation of the people.34 More and more people have strong expectations, full trust, and firm confidence in CPC’s efforts regarding human rights.35
 
Since its founding in 1921, the CPC has been committed to achieving national independence, people’s liberation, prosperity and well-being, and has been sticking firmly its original mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.36 It has clarified its position as the leader of the masses. In its first program, the task of assisting the working class, organizing workers, peasants and soldiers, and wiping out class distinctions was specified.37 Therefore, the CPC’s founding mission is to promote the rights of the public, especially those who have been exploited and oppressed since 100 years ago.38 Since then, it made the policy of safeguarding the survival interests of the vast number of farmers as required in work, and the work norms represented by the Outline Land Law of China have contributed a lot to ensuring that farmers have their land and safeguarding their rights, thus promoting the great victory of the Chinese revolution.39 Over the past century, the CPC has led the Chinese people to carve out a human rights development path suited to China’s national conditions.40 The cause of human rights has made remarkable achievements and gained rich experience.41
 
As the pathfinders of China’s undertakings, the CPC members, the Chinese government officials, and the trailblazers of China’s modernization view themselves as ordinary people who are closely connected with the people. They never boast of extraordinary knowledge or the ability to predict the future. They believe that they will inevitably make mistakes or suffer setbacks. However, compared with government officials in most countries worldwide, the CPC members and the Chinese government officials have two essential characteristics. First of all, they cherish loyalty to and love for the great cause of national prosperity, national rejuvenation and people living and working in peace and contentment. The CPC has been committed to its members’ ideology and capacity building for a long time. It has kept in mind its original mission and prevented people from being lazy, negligent and idle in peace and prosperity. The CPC has always taken serving the people and putting the people first as the purpose and goal of its work, regarded itself as a public servant of the people, and taken the great cause of national development and rejuvenation as the objective. Exercising full and strict governance over the Party, the CPC keeps a tough stance against officials whose morale has waned or even attempted corruption and never slackens efforts in cracking down on corruption, both flies and tigers.42 Such a system of requirements and constraints on state officials ensures a lofty position of people’s rights in the minds of the CPC members, and also the process of respecting, recognizing and protecting human rights to be improved unceasingly. Second, it has been exploring in practice, adjusting development direction based on experience and lessons, boosting desire and determination and improving the governance model. The CPC members always keep alert and hold the bottom-line, realizing that people will inevitably make mistakes. Hence, they’re ready to actively deal with problems that occur and adjust the course to ensure the development of the country and that the interests of the people can be protected. The difference between the excellent and the ordinary lies in the ability to spot a mistake after it has been made, quickly correct it and get back on the right path, or to explore an approach that is closer to the right one. It is not the right way to get frustrated and miserable in mistakes or stubbornly stick to the wrong course. Only when we face up to and admit mistakes, learn from them, and find the right direction for development can we ensure that the cause of serving the people and working for human rights will be brighter and smoother.
 
Westerners often use their two-party or multi-party system as a criterion to evaluate the ruling system of the CPC and thus question or even attack China’s system for protecting human rights. From the very beginning, it is crucial to understand that Chinese and Western cultures differ in defining authority and its role.43 The Chinese people have more expectations and trust in authority, which has given the CPC and its leaders a high status in China’s political, social and cultural life and won wide recognition and great support. Second, the two-party and multi-party systems in the West often lead to wavering stands and even contradictions in internal affairs and foreign relations, which often results in a huge waste of social resources, makes the public fall into a state of disappointed expectations, and harms the rights and interests of the people. Most importantly, the most significant advantage of the two-party or multi-party system rests with constant vigilance and supervision over the ruling party to avoid its abuse of power, sloth and tyranny. These Western countries speculate that problems might arise if the CPC is the only ruling party, but it turns out to be a misunderstanding. In the history of the CPC, the Rectification Movement in Yan’an was carried out to provide the progressive education of the CPC members, promote the eight-point austerity rules, rectify the four forms of decadence, and motivate the CPC members to remain true to their original aspiration and keep their mission firmly in mind, making them constantly reflect on themselves in cognition and action. The ongoing education of party history also shows that the CPC always emphasizes the strict requirement for the organization and the members. It requires Party members to uphold the concept of being people-centered and putting people first, adhere to the values of building a party that serves the interests of the people, maintain the learning state of keeping pace with the times and persist in anti-corruption, avoid sloth and slackness, and avoid any lull in the will to lead the Chinese people to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. With the courage to be braced for pain, the CPC dispels the undesirable in the Party to keep the advancement and constantly renews itself to realize the great dream of national prosperity and people’s happiness and well-being.44
 
When asked whether the Party or the Law prevails, President Xi Jinping made it clear that the Party has a leading position in the direction and planning of the rule of law, and that in daily life, Party organizations and members always act within the scope of national laws and intra-Party regulations. On the one hand, the Party leads the people in enacting and implementing the Constitution and laws and should strengthen and improve its leadership over political and legal affairs. On the other hand, “the CPC members should not pose as Party leaders as a shield for individuals to take their own words as the law, override the law with their power, or bend the law for personal gain.” The CPC requires all its members to abide by the Constitution and laws. More importantly, the CPC has established a strict system of inner-Party laws and regulations, requiring its members to always keep in mind their original aspiration of serving the people and their mission of seeking happiness for the people, rejuvenation for the nation, and common prosperity for the world, instead of becoming a privileged group. It should always maintain its morale and adhere to the workstyle, leading ability and service ability of the Party organization and all its members. The spirit and ability to forge ahead, move forward, search one’s conscience and supervise oneself are critical factors for China’s continuous progress in various fields, including human rights. The CPC has constantly emphasized and strengthened the legal awareness of its members, calling on its member officials to respect, study, observe, and apply the laws. Further efforts should be made to make legislation sound, enforce the law strictly, administer justice impartially, and ensure that all observe the law. The building of a country, a government and a society based on the rule of law should reinforce each other to enhance the concept of the rule of law throughout the whole of society, and let the people experience fairness and justice in individual cases. Under the guidance of such ideas, the legal guarantee system of human rights has become increasingly stronger.
 
III. The Protection Logic of China’s Human Rights Development
 
The experience accumulated and formed in the system and process of China’s human rights exploration and the laws and principles contained in them deserve careful consideration, in-depth exploration, and repeated search.
 
A. Planning for a ladder of human rights upgrading to avoid idle dreams and rash advances
 
China recognizes that human rights are the common aspiration of people all over the world,45 while deeply understanding that only incremental innovation is a reliable formula for harmonizing the human rights system. If we probe into the whole century from the founding of the CPC to this day in terms of the time and space of Chinese society, we will find that China has made remarkable achievements in human rights that are beyond the imagination of the world. Metaphorically speaking, a poor student who was absent from school and made up missed lessons silently in class has become a top student with unremitting efforts; a frail traveler, seeking the path at sea and keen to hasten on his way, has become a pathfinder on the road; or an inexperienced shipbuilder who studies hard the shipbuilding techniques and collects shipbuilding materials in the face of constant obstacles put in his way by others, has built a huge ship that can sail long distances safely.
 
However, if some people think that China’s human rights achievements have been an overnight task, they obviously underestimate the difficulties and obstacles of this great journey. China has been questing along its human rights path step by step with arduous efforts.46 The internal conditions of a large population and a poor economic base and the external threat of imperialist colonialism resulted in a weak foundation for China’s human rights. As China’s experience proves, the direction, path and pace of human rights of a country should adapt to its political, economic, cultural and social environment and conform to the material and ideological conditions of its society. It can be imagined that if China had not introduced its reform and opening-up policy in the 1970s, but followed the model provided or suggested by some Western countries in its social construction, it would have been difficult to improve China’s economic level or effectively guarantee Chinese people’s living standards. The progressive promotion of human rights is an important criterion for ensuring the sound development of society and the sound operation of the governance system. In 1978, 770 million people lived in poverty in China, eating one’s fill and wearing warm clothes was a common concern in many places, but by the end of 2020, absolute poverty was eliminated in the country. This achievement has been recognized by governments and human rights experts and praised by the United Nations. In China, the right to subsistence and the right to development are viewed as top human rights. China has actively worked to address the most pressing needs of the Chinese people, succeeded in poverty alleviation and effectively built a moderately prosperous society, providing solid protection for human rights. The process of human rights development is a prudent choice made by China in human rights and proves that China has chosen the path of human rights quite suited to its social conditions. Human rights must be advanced in coordination with social, economic and cultural development.47 Pursuing human rights beyond a society’s carrying capacity, pushing it too fast, or promoting it in a one-sided and straightforward manner will harm human rights and society, and ultimately the people’s fundamental interests. Steadily advancing human rights based on specific social conditions will strike a balance between human rights and social, political and economic development, thus forming a satisfactory governance system. It will ensure national prosperity and social stability, and also improve the level of human rights.48
 
Some people criticize China’s human rights cause, holding that the CPC focuses too much on economic rights and improving people’s lives, but fails to protect civil rights and political rights properly. This is a misunderstanding caused by an incomplete, unclear and inaccurate understanding of China’s Human rights. As a matter of fact, in the process of China’s construction and development under the leadership of the CPC, various rights have been gradually developed. The connotation of a moderately prosperous society vividly interprets the expansion of China’s cognition of human rights. The idea of a moderately prosperous society proposed by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 is mainly a concept in the field of economic modernization. The core concern is economic evaluation indicators, focusing on the number of per capita GNP.49 In the 1990s, after 20 years of deepening social development, the national economic construction has achieved good results, so China, with the observation of the situation of its own and all other countries in the world, set the goal of “building a moderately prosperous society in all respects” at the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002, which further enriched the assessment indicators of a moderately prosperous society. At that time, the economy was still the foundation. Still, the requirements for political democracy, education development, science and technology revitalization, cultural prosperity, medical improvement, and a better environment and such were added.50 The genealogy of human rights extended from the right to subsistence, the right to development, to the political rights and civil rights, and the environmental right, the right to education, the right to culture, the social rights, etc. At the 19th National Congress of the CPC in 2017, it was determined to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and embark on a new journey to comprehensively building a modern socialist country.51 In this process, we can clearly see the continuous progress of the CPC members in the field and scope of human rights protection, the unceasing promotion 
of raising the level of human rights, and the gradually deepening of the knowledge and understanding of human rights.52 From setting the goal of moderate prosperity, to realizing it step by step, China has gained an increasingly clearer concept of human rights. From the first white paper on human rights to comprehensively and systematically displaying China’s human rights achievements, China has more and more confidence in its human rights path.
 
B. Guarding against the Crisis of Rule by Man and Establishing a Legal System for Human Rights Protection
 
The rule of law is a solid foundation for the steady development of human rights. In the process of promoting the construction of a country under the rule of law and ensuring the sustainable development of human rights, China has found the basic law that the two promote each other. Only the rule of law can create a healthy environment for human rights.53
 
From the perspective of the structure, China’s cause of human rights upholds the idea of putting people first, and also has theoretical proof that human rights are the cornerstone of the rule of law.54 It has support from institutions ranging from the Constitution and laws to the local and departmental rules and regulations, as well as vivid practices of comprehensively promoting law-based governance and building China under the rule of law.55 At the constitutional level, it defines the basic rules for respecting and protecting human rights and lays out the overall framework of human rights protection. From the perspective of civil law, it fully protects real rights, the rights of creditors, intellectual property rights and the right of the relative. From the aspects of criminal law, the policy of balancing justice with mercy is implemented, and the standard of combining the protection of social order and the rights of the people with the punishment of crimes has been established. In criminal proceedings and other procedural laws, criminal suspects should be given ample opportunities to defend themselves to ensure justice in trials, and the people should feel the fairness and justice in each case. In terms of labor and social security laws, a series of systems have been made to safeguard workers’ basic rights and interests. The level of social security has been gradually improved. As for the environmental protection laws, norms have been made, and the working and living environment has been steadily enhanced to ensure that people enjoy a clean and beautiful environment. What is more noteworthy is that China has formulated a series of laws to protect special groups, especially women, children and the disabled, which have progressed with the times. There is a well-established legal system for the protection of migrant workers’ rights. .
 
From the perspective of dynamic development, the history of China’s economic growth and social progress shows that in the process of human rights development, the specific work related to human rights has been constantly improved, and the awareness of human rights has been constantly enhanced. Accordingly, laws and policies must be upgraded.56 As the requirements of social construction become diversified, the legal system needs to recognize, respect and achieve these goals. It is on the basis of this cognitive iteration that China’s building of a moderately prosperous society has ambitious goals, stricter evaluation standards, and clearer task arrangement for the government staff of all levels and the public. A series of more guiding legal norms, such as labor contracts, environmental protection and rural revitalization, have been established. Therefore, we can see that the CPC and the Chinese government are advancing the rule of law in an all-round way. In the area of law-based governance, they advocate the rule of law for the whole society, and also actively guide the formulation and improvement of laws in all aspects of social life.57 The building of a moderately prosperous society can witness the cognitive upgrading of China’s human rights and the development of the rule of law.58 The CPC members have drawn lessons from setbacks and gradually improved the socialist legal system. After the continuous improvement of the legal system, the rule of law in all respects has been comprehensively promoted, and the law-based governance in China has developed. The road for the rule of law in China was neither clear in the very beginning nor smooth in the process. Instead, the direction has had to be discerned from twists and turns and form a strategic layout for national development in keeping with the times. In 1978, Deng Xiaoping reiterated Dong Biwu’s demand that “there must be laws for people to follow and strictly observe”, which was put forward in the 1950s, adding that “law enforcement must be strictly enforced and violations of the law must be prosecuted” as a basic guideline for legal construction and including it in the resolution of the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC. Under the social background of economic recovery, political integrity and cultural tolerance, a large number of laws, including the Constitution, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Civil Procedure Law and Administrative Procedure Law, have been incorporated into the national legal system. Meanwhile, China has actively joined a series of international treaties and organizations,59 paving the way for the rule of law to set the standard of behavior of social order by clarifying citizens’ rights and obligations. In 2011, the National People’s Congress solemnly declared to the world that a socialist legal system had taken shape that was based on China’s national conditions and realities and adapted to the needs of reform, opening-up and socialist modernization.60 But this is just a phased achievement rather than the completion of the legislative project.61 Since then, the National Security Law, the Foreign Investment Law and the Civil Code have integrated the original norms into the legal system to establish new norms. The maturity and improvement of the legal system have never ceased or terminated. The fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee adopted the Decision on Several Issues Concerning Advancing the Rule of Law Comprehensively to implement the guiding principles of protecting human rights through the rule of law, reflecting the CPC’s thoughts and plans on comprehensively protecting human rights in advancing the rule of law in all respects.62 In 2020, Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law was formally established at the Work Conference on Comprehensively Promoting Law-based Governance.63
 
From the perspective of daily life, the rule of law ensures that there are laws to abide by, and also that the laws must be well-established for governance. No matter what field of human rights it is, or what level of rights protection it is, the wisdom and pattern of leaders alone will not be enough for stability. Currently, respecting and protecting human rights has become the core value of China’s law-based national construction.64 The norms required by the rule of law must be established based on full recognition of human value, careful planning of human development and comprehensive consideration of the human future. From the macro provisions of the Constitution, the promulgation and implementation of specific laws, to the judicial and administrative actions of various state organs and departments, human rights have spread from the provisions of laws to all fields of social life, from abstract concepts and ideals to popular ideas for ordinary people, and become the rights we are enjoying and experiencing. Moreover, it is far from enough to establish norms, the concept of the rule of law and the approval of the rule of law must also form in people’s minds. Only when trust and belief in the rule of law are established in the ideological atmosphere of the whole society can the rule of law based on human rights be truly realized.
 
C. Curbing the risk of sloth and gaining momentum for human rights
 
The courage to explore is the valuable quality of successful practice in human rights. Human rights are the flowers of civilization in a stable, sustainable and healthy society. Over the past century, the CPC’s path of human rights has been fraught with difficulties. However, the CPC has worked hard to develop the human rights system and practice that satisfy the Chinese people and are recognized by other countries in the world. In a down-to-earth way, the CPC members believe that all human rights civilizations around the world should share the beauty of their own. There is no best but better on the road of human rights development; the path of human rights that China has explored and chosen is obviously suited to China’s national conditions and has set up a good beacon for the whole world.
 
Unity and struggle are critical for the international community to realize human rights. The success of China’s moderately prosperous society proves once again that human rights are not a natural concept but require sustained effort from all quarters. Human rights are clearly not an ideal that can be realized with only good intentions. The realization of human rights should be regarded as a detailed and complex social project instead of just a lofty and empty concept. China’s moderately prosperous society has gone through more than 40 years of construction in all areas, from cities to rural areas, from the government to ordinary people, from experts and scholars, research institutions to specific staff, all of whom have made arduous efforts. Some people even sacrificed in the front line of poverty alleviation. It is precise because the leadership takes root in the front-line construction of human rights that China’s moderately prosperous society can be realized, and the cause of human rights has achieved substantial development step by step. It can be said that moderate prosperity was built by the Chinese people bit by bit with superb wisdom and hard work. The improvement of China’s human rights results from the hard and solid efforts of the staff of various departments and fields in China. It is simple-minded and naive to expect gains of improving human rights without pain. It is even wrong to argue that human rights are superior in one’s own country by denouncing human rights in other countries. Human rights are neither given by God nor can be achieved without government intervention. No right can be achieved without struggle. In 2020, the Chinese government led the people in actively fighting COVID-19, with general success.65
 
In some countries, the cause of human rights may be nothing more than depicting ideals, shouting slogans, waving flags or making judgments. However, more and more countries have realized that to fully and effectively support and protect human rights requires social order and sound economic development. A good vision of human rights cannot be realized in a poor, dangerous social environment.
 
The CPC members won’t sit and prattle empty slogans but rather advocate implementable practices.66 The cause of human rights in China does not merely dwell on imagination or rhetoric, but explores a path that conforms to its cultural traditions and social environment with persistent endeavors.67 From the perspective of the socialist road, it is a natural and inevitable choice for China. However, there is no well-established project or successful plan for socialist construction, and no one can clarify the specific blueprint and basic standards of socialism. Under such circumstances, the development of various undertakings in China is bound to face a process of continuous exploration.68 The CPC members seek truth from facts, proceed from China’s national conditions, and take economic development as the lead to gradually promote various social undertakings and make achievements that satisfy the people. In this process, human rights have gradually been enriched, improved and perfected. The CPC leads the people to build a better homeland step by step, enjoy green mountains and clear waters, and strive for a happy life. Sweat and toil count, and every bit of progress is a mirror of wisdom and hardship.
 
D. Dispelling the clash of civilizations and advocating the concept of human rights with inclusive exchanges
 
Human rights are institutional arrangements that guarantee free development and a better life, so they have distinct regional characteristics and various manifestations under different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds69. Recognizing the diversity among civilizations, promoting inclusiveness and mutual learning, and seeking common ground while shelving differences on specific issues would help ensure bright prospects for the international human rights cause. The cause of human rights led by the CPC is closely linked with China’s traditional culture. It is an institutional innovation based on the real social development situation in China.70 China has long cherished a people-oriented and human-oriented culture, and upheld that every individual can share the benefits of the development of the state, while what the individual achieves ultimately contributes to the state, which builds the relationship between the individual and the state, the government and the community in the sense of benign interaction. The Scientific Outlook on Development proposed at the beginning of the 21st Century advocates “people-oriented” service, deepening the understanding of the importance of human rights in ideology and theory. There are obvious differences in cognitive logic between the Chinese and some Western cultures in terms of individualism and collectivism, universalism and relativism, rights and duties, human rights and sovereignty, institutionalism and moralism.71 The latter counterposes the individual and the state, regards the government as a check and constraint on human rights, and forms an organizational structure of the individual against the government. On the contrary, the cause of human rights led by the CPC is carried out simultaneously from the two different dimensions of safeguarding individual rights and promoting national rejuvenation so that the prosperity of the state and the rights and interests of the people are guaranteed effectively and persistently, mutually promoting each other and forming a good system in which both can thrive together. In the process of participating in international debates on human rights, China has consolidated and enhanced its human rights ideology.72 From what China has done to promote human rights, we’ve seen, instead of the demands or struggles of the people against the government, that the government investigates and learns of people’s demands and aspirations which are further constantly integrated into government actions so that the government and the people are closely connected with a shared future.
 
The realization of human rights depends on international cooperation. Human rights and social progress are closely linked. In the context of globalization, human rights are inseparable from the overall improvement of the international community. From the perspective of historical development, human rights result from social progress. Only when society progresses to a certain extent can people’s self-consciousness be awakened, their value and dignity be recognized, and more of their rights can be constantly fought for. Meanwhile, human rights are the driving force of social progress. It is people’s pursuit of rights and the longing for a happy life that propel more and more people to deepen and improve science and technology and economic development, laying the foundation for people’s better life in all aspects, including the material, the technological, the scientific, and the cultural and artistic. Therefore, human rights are out of the question without social progress. China’s moderately prosperous society was built hand in hand with the pursuit of reform and opening-up. Reform has liberated the minds of the Chinese government and people, and unleashed the productive forces of the Chinese people, while opening to the international market has provided strong support for China’s economic and social development. As it were, without the opening to the outside world, building a moderately prosperous society would not have been possible at such a fast pace. Similarly, building a moderately prosperous society and the general improvement of human rights in China will also support the improvement of human rights in other countries around the world. The cross-border trade and investment, the cultural and educational exchanges, and the building of legal institutions are important means for the overall improvement of global human rights.
 
Given the huge differences in the capacity of production and living and the cultural and geographical characteristics of, it is undoubtedly demanding and unreasonable to assume that all countries, regardless of local conditions, must abide by the same set of human rights norms and accept the same set of human rights standards. The progress of international human rights and the development of global human rights civilization must be based on the diversity of civilizations and cultures.73 It is neither right to regard a certain concept or system of human rights as the only correct direction and model for human rights in the world, nor is it appropriate to judge other countries’ human rights systems and practices based on their own standards and perceptions in the field.74 The common standard of human rights in the international community must be set based on in-depth exchanges, candid communication, and extensive and profound learning of experience and lessons among different cultures and civilizations. A proper standard of international human rights must be the greatest common divisor in human rights ideas and systems developed by all countries, rather than the patent of a certain human rights culture.75
 
The progress of human society is at a critical moment. As society develops, people’s yearning for a happy life and the desire for freedom from various constraints persist, but they have to bear all kinds of challenges and threats in real life. The common difficulties and problems faced by all countries worldwide are becoming clearer and clearer,76 and the problems that need to be addressed by all countries are becoming more and more prominent.77 At this point, countries are required to form a proper cooperation mechanism for protecting human rights fully and effectively.78 However, the world remains unstable, people are far from secure, and many alarming factors exist in the international landscape. In 2021, in particular, it was sad to see that globally, not only was the COVID-19 pandemic not brought under control, but economic growth remained sluggish. It is fair to say that as we enter the third decade of the 21st century, the risks we face remain severe. According to statistics released by the United Nations, many countries’ economies have been hit hard by COVID-19, and even worse, the construction achievements in the past ten years have been cast to the winds. As a result, while people’s economic, social and cultural rights have been greatly threatened, their basic safety, especially to life and health, has not been effectively guaranteed. Under such circumstances, the international community should strengthen solidarity, effectively take advantage of human resources, fully safeguard basic security and freedom, and make efforts for the progress and development of human society through cooperation among countries and between countries and international organizations. For many countries, how to overcome obstacles and tide over difficulties is a critical issue. In times of crisis, human society should avoid unnecessary conflicts between countries, especially those that attack and contend with each other. We should stay rational to develop the concept of standing together through thick and thin, achieve a higher level of international coordination, and respond more effectively to common risks and challenges.79 Human rights should be a constructive tool for countries to continuously improve human happiness and meet people’s material and cultural requirements through solidarity and cooperation, rather than an offensive tool for one country or a group of countries to attack another or another group of countries. Only when human rights are applied in a positive and healthy way can human rights be truly realized and live up to a great ideal in the history of mankind. We hope that all countries in the world can better work together in unity to make real and effective contributions to realizing full human rights for all. The Chinese government has actively participated in international cooperation in human rights governance,80 and thus has more clearly realized that we should speed up the construction of the Right of Speech on Human Rights in modern China81 so as to voice China’s human rights and put forward our plan, which is a critical and urgent task.82 From the perspective of China’s model of discourse, it is to jointly deal with the plight of human rights for the sake of a community with a shared future for human beings, and to build an internationally coordinated human rights protection mechanism for an inclusive, open, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
 
IV. The Time and Space Logic of China’s Human Rights Development
 
The development of China’s human rights has formed a path with its own characteristics. As the leader along that that path, the CPC has grown over the past century from a small party with dozens of members to a great party with more than 90 million members. However, regardless of the number of its members or the status, the CPC has always been concerned about the safety and welfare of the people and has always actively promoted their freedom and rights. The promising cause of human rights by the CPC, still in its prime despite a century of twists and turns, is of far-reaching significance to the Chinese people and the rest of the world.
 
A. Historical exploration of China’s human rights
 
The historical significance of modern China’s human rights lies in its down-to earth implementation of the social ideals and goals of the sages and the people with lofty ideals from ancient times till now, which has substantially improved the level of human rights governance in China, achieved an unprecedented level of protection, and provided a solid foundation for the future advancement of human rights. Suppose we view human history as a process of constantly updating the definition of human pursuit of happiness with endless efforts.83 In that case, the human rights that the CPC has promoted are indelible parts of this process.84 In ancient China, there were abundant human-centered thoughts and people-centered thoughts. For example, Confucius used “loving people” to elucidate the connotation of “benevolence”,85 and proposed that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,”86 and “To achieve success, one should let others succeed as well.”87 This series of concepts of attaching importance to, caring about and promoting people are still vigorous and progressive until the present age. Confucius’ opinions on governing the state and his political experience show the view that people overweigh things and should be valued more.88 Compared with the practices of materials overriding people in the Western capitalism for quite a long time, these views and practices show a strong contrast and have enlightening significance.89 Mencius stated that “To a state, the people are the most important thing. The state comes second. The ruler is the least important,”90 and “The root of the world is in the state, the root of the state is in the family, the root of the family is in cultivating oneself.”91 It is both a list of responsibilities and a testament to the significance of the individual. Guan Zi once said, “Obtaining the dominant position should take people as the foundation. If the foundation is in order, the country will be stable, and if the foundation is in turmoil, the country will be in danger.”92 Not only in Confucian classics “the whole world as one community” is advocated,93 the legalists also mentioned “A king is meant to serve the state,”94 and “A king should dedicate himself to the world.”95 The ancient Chinese sages realized that “If people have enough food supply stored in granaries, they will pay attention to etiquettes. If people are not short of food and clothes, they will lay stress on the sense of honor and shame.”96 It is necessary to form a good social environment in the first place to keep social stability and people’s morality.
 
All of these ideas have become great treasures of Chinese culture, but unfortunately, for a long time, they have not really been implemented as an integral part of China’s governance.97 In the political process of China’s feudal dynasties, people always witnessed the struggle for power and profit when the monarch formed a small interest group to hurt the interests of the people for their own interests. Therefore, the great Chinese poet Du Fu in the Tang Dynasty denounced the social injustice and inequality in his poems. For example, “While the rich wine and dine, the poor die of cold by the roadside”. In his poem the Old Charcoal Seller, Bai Juyi, another great Chinese poet in the Tang Dynasty, also revealed the contradictions between the ancient court and the public. These actions separating from the masses made it difficult for the ancient thinkers to carry out people-oriented thought. On the other hand, the CPC members have always kept the Marxist view of history in mind98 and insisted on the idea that the masses are the masters of history and the driving force of making history. The CPC leaders constantly remind all party and government officials to be clear about who the cause of development is for, and who they should rely on and trust in. We should stand up for the broad masses of the people, rely on the people and serve the people, and ensure that the people truly enjoy a happy life and feel fairness and justice. Therefore, the benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom and trust advocated by the Confucianists,99 the morality by the Taoists, the universal love and non-aggression by the Mohist School, and the human orientation by the legalists shine brightly in the traditional thoughts,100 but were only a far-fetched ideal that really came into reality only after the 20th century and was effectively implemented in the cause of national construction, reform and development led by the CPC.
 
Some ultra-liberal Western scholars often see human rights as a concept opposed to the government. Many people one-sidedly believe that human rights can be fully realized as long as the state does not interfere.101 But that may be true only if the state loses control.102 Time and again, social practice contradicts these simple notions. History shows that the state is neither Hobbes’ unassailable Leviathan, which once established by social contract must be obeyed,103 nor is it the community of supreme interest that Bentham, Mill, and Spencer thought it was.104 The utilitarian vision of a laissez-faire state has never succeeded, and the individualistic and anarchist scenarios envisaged by Stiknap, Rudon and Bakunin failed after a short-lived experiment.105 They respected the supremacy of the individual and regarded the state as the source of political oppression, economic exploitation and military warfare. Still, they ignored the positive role of the state and unilaterally emphasized the negative effect of the state. On the contrary, the CPC members have fully played the positive role of the state, making the government, under the guidance of the concept of people first and under the rule of law, clearly become the advocate, defender of individual rights and the implementer of people’s welfare. The reputation of the state has been increasing, and the state has been widely trusted and supported by the people.106 Under the leadership of the CPC, the people’s free and beautiful life has been realized in an orderly and effective way with the full support and active promotion of the government. Human rights are no longer just a beautiful word lingering in the ears, but a real social order and personal experience that people can see and touch in real life.
 
B. Then contribution of China’s human rights to the world
 
China’s human rights governance over the past half a century has had a profound impact on the construction of human rights in the contemporary world.107 China has developed a human rights system with characteristics that are not deliberately unconventional and uniquely shaped but have naturally taken shape. China’s governance on human rights has inherited and developed the Chinese and Western cultural traditions by removing the coarse and selecting the essence, eliminating the false and preserving the true. Based on the human rights experience accumulated at the international and national levels, China participates in establishing human rights norms and standards, forming its own unique ideas that it actively feeds back to the international community and which have been recognized by all countries.108 China has learned from other countries the experience and lessons of respecting and protecting human rights, and put into practice the blueprint drawn up by the international community on its soil,109 which has improved the protection of human rights in China and made human rights a part of the Chinese people’s life. China has explored a path of human rights development suited to its national conditions and has become a vital force influencing and advancing the world’s human rights cause.
 
Although human rights are not an original concept in Chinese culture, the CPC has effectively localized the inherited thoughts, concepts and systems, fully integrated them with China’s historical and cultural environment, and explored a path of human rights that is recognized by and satisfies the Chinese people based on the characteristics of Chinese society. The CPC incorporated human rights into the tasks of each stage of historical development through the phased goals of building a moderately prosperous society, the engineering design of poverty alleviation, and the long-term planning of national rejuvenation. It has promoted the active dedication of the CPC members, guided governments at all levels to be down-to-earth, and led the people to realize human rights step by step.110 With its dynamic governance practice, it proves the methods and processes for effectively enhancing the level of human rights in developing countries with large populations and weak economic bases.
 
However, in the modern West, some scholars and politicians believing that some top powers are experiencing hegemonic decline and facing hegemonic replacement,111instead of facing the issue of human rights in a profound and serious way, take human rights as a tool to attack and suppress China. They misuse the concept of human rights and fabricate “crimes” against China,112 and make use of lies, rumors and advice to serve their logic of “a strong country is bound to seek hegemony,”113 trying to dig a “Thucydides Trap” for China and other emerging countries.114 The CPC has clarified facts of the matters to avoid being maligned by these unfounded attacks,115 and guard against the use of “human rights” as a weapon. On the other hand, it actively 
advocates international cooperation and helps improve the human rights capacity of developing countries by providing development assistance. By means of international economic, trade and cultural cooperation, China has provided effective conditions for the capacity building of relevant countries in human rights protection and laid a solid foundation for the overall improvement of human rights in the international community. In particular, implementing the Belt and Road Initiative has enabled hundreds of millions of people in dozens of countries to directly enjoy convenient transportation and communication infrastructure, rapidly improving their human rights experience.116 These solid actions have illuminated ideas with practice and shaped propositions with 
achievements. They have contributed to the development of human rights globally with Chinese characteristics and are conducive to the coordination and common improvement of human rights in diverse cultures.117
 
As a progressive country under the rule of law, China, under the leadership of the CPC, actively promotes the rule of law concerning foreign affairs and advocates the strict implementation of the international rule of law,118 and advances the institutional building for the international rule of law and transnational protection of human rights.119 The particularly notable part is to actively coordinate with relevant countries to create and maintain global and regional legal mechanisms to combat terrorism and organized crime, and facilitate the international community to pursue fugitives from justice and recover stolen money or goods. The series of foreign-related law enforcement cooperation measures have guaranteed the security of individuals, communities and states, kept the good order of the international community to ensure a safe environment for personal rights, and formed a proper social environment to promote and ensure the effective realization of human rights. These propositions with Chinese characteristics have made a firm contribution to the full respect and protection of human rights in the world.
 
The significance of sharing CPC’s experience accumulated over a century has two aspects: on the one hand, the improvement of human rights in a state with onefifth of the world’s population serves as a model and reference for the efforts, explorations, policies and implementation of measures to advance human rights in all countries. Most countries, especially developing countries, have paid close attention to and recognized the impact and inspiration of China’s human rights exploration. China’s practice means that a common value such as human rights, which is of positive importance to all countries, can be applied systematically and successfully in any corner of the world. On the other hand, the practice of human rights in China also means that there is no single culture-based criterion for measuring issues such as human rights. They must conform to the characteristics and cultural traditions of the relevant countries and regions.120 There should be cooperation with countries with similar experiences, and dialogue with countries with different experiences, to make an in-depth exploration of how to realize human rights in a broader geographical dimension.121
 
V. Conclusion
 
China’s human rights cause under the leadership of the CPC has made continuous progress through arduous exploration and efforts. The level of human rights in China has gradually improved, and the happiness index of the Chinese people has continuously been raised. The international community has fewer and fewer misunderstandings about China’s human rights and the CPC’s core position in respecting, safeguarding and developing human rights in China. More and more positive affirmations have emerged. Rumors may still exist, but the colorful life of the people and the sincere and genuine will of the people must be the top criterion to test human rights. The century-long struggle of the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC has proved the tremendous achievements it has made in the country’s human rights cause. In the future, efforts to build the country and contribute to the world will surely push the international human rights cause to new heights.
 
Under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese nation has made great achievements in fully protecting, promoting and realizing human rights in a developing country with a large population. The CPC takes the lead in achieving national rejuvenation and in the great process of reform and development, which shows that the CPC guides and serves the cause of the people, and also defends national interests and guards against common risks in the world. It has made positive and beneficial efforts for the cause of human rights in China and the world at large. Looking into the future, the CPC, with its modest and prudent spirit, will certainly lead the Chinese people to overcome difficulties and obstacles, withstand various pressures, and write a magnificent chapter of China’s human rights at a higher level and in a more all-round way on the road to building a prosperous, strong, democratic and civilized socialist country.
 
(Translated by XU Chao)
 
* HE Zhipeng ( 何志鹏 ), Professor, Dean of the School of Law in Jilin University, Executive Director of Jilin University Human Rights Center. This paper is a phased result of the key project “Research on the Mechanism of Enhancing China’s Right of Speech in International Law Oriented by of National Image” of The National Social Science Fund of China (19AFX024).
 
1. Xi Jinping’s Speech at the General Meeting Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the CPC (July 1, 2021), People’s Daily, July 2, 2021.
 
2. the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “The Great Practice of the CPC in Respecting and Protecting Human Rights”, People’s Daily, June 25, 2021.
 
3. the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “Seeking Happiness for the People: New China’s Human Rights Development for 70 Years”, People’s Daily, September 23, 2019.
 
4. Dong Yunhu, Chang Jian, et al., Development of Human Rights in China over 70 Years (Nanjing: Jiangxi People’s Publishing House, 2019).
 
5. Xu Xianming and Qi Yanping argue that the key rights in the construction of China’s human rights system include “the central right to freedom, the prerequisite right to equality, the fundamental right to property, the baseline right to subsistence and the collateral right to development.” Xu Xianming and Qi Yanping, “Five Themes in the Construction of China’s Human Rights System”, Literature, History and Philosophy 4 (2002).
 
6. the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects: A Glorious Chapter of China’s Human Rights Development”, People’s Daily, August 13, 2021.
 
7. On the Exploration of the First Five-year Plan, Pang Song, The General History of the People’s Republic of China, Volume 1 (1949-1956) (Guangzhou: Guangdong People’s Publishing House, 2020), 474-504; On the Achievements and Significance of the First Five-Year Plan, Aina, “The Great Significance of the First Fiveyear Plan”, World Affairs 14 (1955); Shi Zhen, “The Formulation and Achievements of the First Five-Year Plan”, Party Member Digest 7 (2019).
 
8. Since 2013, the funds for poverty alleviation from the central government, provincial governments, cities and counties have totaled nearly RMB 1.6 trillion, of which RMB 660.1 billion is from the central government. More than RMB 440 billion of funds related to the connection of urban construction land increase and rural construction land decrease has been transferred across provinces and transferred within provinces. A total of RMB 710 billion of microcredit for poverty alleviation, RMB 668.8 billion of re-loans for poverty alleviation, and RMB 9.2 trillion of targeted financial loans for poverty alleviation have been granted. The nine eastern provinces and municipalities allocated over RMB 100.5 billion of financial aid and social assistance to the poverty alleviation areas they were partnering. Enterprises from the eastern region have invested more than RMB 1 trillion in areas of collaboration to help alleviate poverty. Thanks to these initiatives, rural roads reaching a total length of 1.1 million kilometers have rebuilt and the country has added over 35,000 kilometers of railway. The electric reliability rate of power grid in poor areas reaches 99%. Within the scope of the large power grid, 100% of poor villages have access to power and electricity, and more than 98% have access to optical fiber internet and 4G services. Dilapidated houses of 7.9 million households and 25.68 million people living in poverty have been renovated. A total of 35,000 centralized resettlement areas and 2.66 million housing units have been built, and more than 9.6 million people have got rid of seclusion and backwardness and moved from poor residence to new homes. Therefore, all the rural population, totaling 98.99 million, has been lifted out of poverty as defined by the existing standard, all the 128,000 impoverished villages and 832 designated poor counties have got rid of absolute poverty. China has eliminated poverty over entire regions. Xi Jinping, “Speech at the National Poverty Alleviation Summary and Commendation Conference (February 25, 2021)”, People’s Daily, February 26, 2021.
 
9. Li Yunlong, “The Significance of Poverty Alleviation on Human Rights”, Human Rights 4 (2020).
 
10. the State Council Information Office, “The Human Rights in China”, Communique of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China 39 (1991).
 
11. Chai Kejian, “Discussion on the Human Rights in China by People of All Ethnic Groups in the Capital (White Paper): Enjoying Full Human Rights as the Master of the State”, Chinese Nation 1 (1992); Feng Zhuoran et al., “Summary of Speech at the Symposium on White Paper on Human Rights in China”, Journal of Beijing Normal University (Social Science) 6 (1991); “Summary of Speech by Some Liberal Arts Teachers in Jilin University on Human Rights in China”, Journal of Social Sciences of Jilin University 1 (1992).
 
12. Werner Rugmer, “The Centennial Achievements of the CPC in Human Rights Protection”, translated by Zhu Weiwei, Journal of Social Sciences in China, June 30, 2021.
 
13. Tian Chunsheng, “The ‘Washington Consensus’ and Its Policy Review”, Nankai Economic Studies 5 (2004).
 
14. Li Zhen, “‘Washington Consensus’ and ‘Neoliberalism’ Reform in Developing Countries”, World Economics and Politics 5 (2002).
 
15. Chang Yunkun, “The Rise of Neoliberalism and the End of the Washington Consensus”, The Journal of Humanities 5 (2004).
 
16. Hu Yicheng, “China’s Socialist System Respects Human Rights in Real Sense and Study on the Dependence of Human Rights on the Development of Productive Forces”, Journal of Socialist Theory Guide 10 (1990).
 
17. Wang Xigen, “Dialogue and Transcendence: The Development Path of China’s Legal Protection for Human Rights in the Era of Globalization”, Journal of Wuhan University (Humanities) 4 (2005).
 
18. Ibid.
 
19. Tian Chunsheng, “A Primary Study on the Comparison between Washington Consensus and Beijing Consensus”, Comparative Economic & Social Systems 2 (2005); Joshua Cooper Ramo, “From Washington Consensus to Beijing Consensus,” translated by Zhang Dawen, Digest of Foreign Social Sciences 7 (2004).
 
20. Chang Jian, “Interpretation of Literature on Political Dimensions and Social Dimensions in the Development of the CPC’s Human Rights Concept”, Human Rights Studies 2 (2021).
 
21. Foreign scholars have also closely observed that after China’s reform and opening up, discussions on human rights have gradually increased. Marina Svensson, Debating Human Rights in China: A Conceptual and Political History (Lanham: Rowman & Lilefield Publishers, 2002): 261-297.
 
22. Xinhua News Agency, “Xi Jinping Sends a Letter to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to Stress Adherence to the Path of Human Rights Development Suited to National Conditions and Promoting All-round Human Development”, Human Rights 1 (2019).
 
23. On the human rights dimension of the fight against the pandemic, Chang Jian, “Human Rights Protection in China’s Fight against the Pandemic”, HongQi WenGao 12 (2020); Chang Sheng, “China Sets an Example of Human Rights in Fighting COVID-19”, People’s Daily, July 30, 2020.
 
24. “A specific political mechanism for reaching consensus or reconciling differences in the process and form of consultation and dialogue based on the political rights of political organizations and citizens to achieve the objectives of public governance.” Wang Puqu, “Consultative Governance and the Realization of Human Rights in China”, Journal of Peking University (Philosophy and Social Science) 6 (2012).
 
25. Baogang He et al., “China and Human Rights in North Korea: Debating a ‘Developmental Approach’,” in Northeast Asia (London: Routledge, 2021), 50-54.
 
26. Han Hongwei, “Transcend ‘Tacitus Trap’: The Dilemma and Redemption of Government Credibility”, Hubei Social Sciences 7 (2015).
 
27. Zhou Fayuan, “The Connotation, Origin, Form and Prevention of Bureaucratism: From the Perspective of Social Division of Labor”, Chuanshan Journal 3 (2014).
 
28. Zheng Ruohan, “Poverty Alleviation: The Great Practice of China’s Human Rights Development”, People’s Daily, April 1, 2021.
 
29. Cai Juan and Yu Ningyuan, “Avoid Formalism and Bureaucratism in Grassroots Social Governance”, Anti-corruption and Integrity Culture Studies 4
(2021).
 
30. Xu Xianming, “On the Road of Human Rights in China”, Human Rights Studies 1 (2020).
 
31. Liu Huawen, “China’s People-centered Development of Human Rights”, People Rule of Law 1 (2019).
 
32. Many Western scholars and politicians tend to see China as an authoritarian state. Eva Pils, Human Rights in China: A Social Practice in the Shadows of Authoritarianism (Cambridge: Polity, 2017), 20.
 
33. Some Western scholars have pointed out that China and the US have different understandings of human rights, resulting in mutual mistakes. Priscilla Robinson, The People’ Republic of China: Human Rights Issues and Abuses, in Focus (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2016). It can be inferred that the misunderstanding caused by the different cognition of Chinese and Western human rights exists in many aspects.
 
34. Meng Xiangfu, “China Makes Great Achievements in Human Rights”, People’s Daily, June 25, 2021.
 
35. Gu Chunde, “The CPC is Always the Core of Leadership for China’s Human Rights Development and Progress”, Human Rights 2 (2021).
 
36. On the theoretical exploration of the people as the subject of human rights, Xiao Wu, “The Historical Change of the CPC’s Subject Concept of Human Rights: 1921-2021”, Human Rights 2 (2021).
 
37. Literature Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Selected Literature since the CPC Building (1921-1949), vol. 1 (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2011), 1-3.
 
38. Han Dayuan, “The Right of Speech on Human Rights and Its Changes in the Early Years of the CPC: 1921-1927”, Human Rights 2 (2021).
 
39. Wang Dezhi and Liang Yanan, “Analysis of Human Rights Ideology of the Chinese Communist Party in the Base Area”, Jurists Review 2 (2007).
 
40. Lu Guangjin, “The Diversity of Human Rights Civilizations Enriched and Developed by the People under the Leadership of the CPC”, People’s Daily, June 29, 2021.
 
41. Liu Hainian, “The CPC: The Struggle for Human Rights (1921-1949)”, Oriental Law 3 (2011).
 
42. Li Binxiong and Huang Hongping, “Review of the CPC’s Anti-corruption Construction since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China”, Marxist Studies 10 (2009); Li Huifang, “Combating Corruption and Upholding Integrity: From Political Consciousness to Cultural Consciousness — The Evolution of the CPC’s Concept of Clean Government Over the Past 30 Years of Reform and Opening up”, Zhejiang Social Sciences 6 (2008).
 
43. Qi Yanping, “Harmonious Human Rights: The Mutual Benefit of Chinese spirit and Human Rights Culture”, Jurists Review 2 (2007).
 
44. Zhang Xiaoling, “The Theory and Practice of Human Rights of the CPC for a Century”, Human Rights Studies 2 (2021).
 
45. Robert Weatherley, The Discourse of Human Rights in China: Historical and Ideological Perspectives (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999), 135.
 
46. Xu Xianming, “The Development of Human Rights in the World and the Progress of Human Rights in China: Theoretical Reflections on the History of Human Rights Laws”, Journal of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee 2 (2008).
 
47. Li Junru, “Historic Progress - Three Strides of China’s Human Rights in the Past 70 Years”, Human Rights 3 (2019).
 
48. A prominent feature of China’s Human Rights is to promote the protection of Rights in the desire for stability. Sarah Biddulph, The Stability Imperative: Human Rights and Lau in China (Washington: University of Washington Press, 2015), 3-31.
 
49. Lv Shuzheng, “The Scientific Connotation of Deng Xiaoping Thought on Moderately Prosperous Society”, Literature of Chinese Communist Party 2 (2000).
 
50. Wen Jiabao, “Conscientiously Implement the Spirit of the 16th CPC National Congress and Strive to Promote the Building of Moderately Prosperous Society in Rural Areas”, Qui Shi 3 (2003).
 
51. Hu Hongbin, “Systematic Strengthening and Theoretical Questioning of the Full and Strict Governance over the Party at the 19th National Congress of the CPC — From the Perspective of Comprehensively Building Moderate Prosperity and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, Academic Forum 6 (2017).
 
52. the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “The Development and Progress of China’s Human Rights in the Past 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up”, People’s Daily, December 13, 2018.
 
53. Peng Chao, “On the Compatibility between Human Rights Legislation and The Rule of Law in China”, in Chaoyang Law Review 15 (Hangzhou: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House, 2021), 188-200.
 
54. Xu Xianming, “The Essence of the Rule of Law Is Human Rights- An Interpretation of Human Rights History”, Study and Exploration 4 (2001).
 
55. Han Liquan, Research on the Rule of Law of Human Rights in China (Beijing: China Procuratorial Press, 2012).
 
56. Liu Hainian, “The Establishment and Development of the Rule of Law of Human Rights in China”, Academic Forum of Nandu 1 (2009).
 
57. Zhang Wenxian, “Thoughts, Strategies and Practices of Advancing Law-based Governance in All Respects in the New Era”, China Legal Science 6 (2017).
 
58. Chi Deqiang, “The Development of International Human Rights Law and China’s Contribution to the World Human Rights”, Human Rights 6 (2019).
 
59. Foreign scholars have observed China’s participation in international human rights legal mechanisms and pointed out that China still has a series of problems in fulfilling its international human rights obligations. Pitman B. Potter, Assessing Treaty Performance in China: Trade and Human Rights (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2014), 99-100.
 
60. Wu Bangguo, “The Significance and Basic Experience of Forming the Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics”, Qui Shi 3 (2011).
 
61. Zhu Jingwen, “The Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics: Structure, Features and Trend”, Social Sciences in China 3 (2011).
 
62. Li Junru, “Comprehensively Protecting Human Rights in Advancing the Rule of Law in All Respects”, Human Rights 1 (2015).
 
63. Wang Xigen, “Human Rights Value of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law”, Oriental Law 1 (2021); Liu Hainian, “Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law and the Institutional Construction of Human Rights”, Human Rights Studies 1 (2021).
 
64. Zhang Wei, “Respecting and Protecting Human Rights Is the Core Value of a Country under the Rule of Law”, Modern Law Science 2 (2015).
 
65. the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, “China Action in Fighting against COVID-19”, People’s Daily, June 8, 2020.
 
66. The Ritual of Zhou · Dong Guan Kao Gong Ji · General Account
 
67. Sun Qiang, “From Human Rights Culture to Human Rights Culture with Chinese Characteristics: A Reflective Investigation”, Human Rights 5 (2017).
 
68. Shi Zhongquan, “The Source of the Exploration of the Road of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics — Some Thought on Xibaipo Spirit”, CPC History Studies 3 (1996); Tu Jingfen, “Mao Zedong’s Historical Contribution to Exploring the Road of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, Leading Journal of Ideological & Theoretical Education 10 (2008); Yuan Yinchuan, “Deng Xiaopin’s Historical Process and Contribution to Exploring the Road of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”, Marxist Studies 9 (2009).
 
69. Wang Zaibang, “Human Rights Standards, Cultural Diversity and Human Harmony”, Human Rights 5 (2009).
 
70. Yang Chunfu, “Innovation and Development of China’s Human Rights in the New Era”, Law and Social Development 3 (2021).
 
71. Zhongqi Pan, Conceptual Gaps in China-EU Relations: Global Governance, Human Rights and Strategic Partnerships (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).
 
72. Robert Weatherley, Making China Strong: The Role of Nationalism in Chinese Thinking on Democracy and Human Rights (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 151.
 
73. Fang Guangshun and Ma Wenying, “On the Dynamic Effect of Diversity on Human Rights Development”, People’s Tribune 8 (2011).
 
74. Chen Zexian, International Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights and the Chinese Perspective (Beijing: China University of Political Science and Law Press, 2017).
 
75. Sun Shiyan, “The Standards of the International Human Rights: Western or Global”, Human Rights Studies 1 (2020).
 
76. Fan Ruguo, “Governance of the “Global Risk Society”: Complexity Paradigm and China’s Participation”, Social Sciences in China 2 (2017).
 
77. Xia Shuzhang, “Global Cooperative Governance: Chinese Dream and Human Dream”, People Tribune·Academic Frontiers 19 (2015); Zhang Kangzhi, “On Ethics, Culture and Cooperative Governance in Global Society”, Social Science Research 4 (2019).
 
78. Gu Shengkai, “Legal and Policy Thinking on International Human Rights Dialogue and Cooperation”, International Forum 4 (2000).
 
79. Yu Dahuai and Wu Li, “A Community of Shared Future for Mankind: A New Approach to the Union of Free Men in World History”, Studies in Ethics 2 (2021).
 
80. Luo Yanhua, “The Process and Prospect of China’s Participation in International Human Rights Cooperation”, Leading Journal of Ideological & Theoretical Education 1 (2005).
 
81. For the Historical Survey of The Right of Speech on Human Rights in China, Kang Huaru, “China’s International Right of Speech on Human Rights in the ‘Pre-White Paper Era’ — Centering on the Chinese Government’s Documents on Statement and Position at the UN Human Rights Commission”, Human Rights Studies 2 (2021); for the development of Right of Speech on Human Rights and the promotion of Right of Speech on Human Rights in China, Mao Junxiang, “The Internationalization of China’s Right of Speech on Human Rights from the Western Expansion of Right of Speech on Human Rights”, Legal Forum 2 (2021).
 
82. Lu Guangjin, “The Construction Dimension and Value Orientation of the Right of Speech on Human Rights in Contemporary China”, Human Rights 4 (2020).
 
83. Mao Huabin, “On the Unification of the Historical Dimension and Value Dimension of ‘The Union of Free Men’”, Philosophical Researches 5 (2016).
 
84. Huang Jianjun, “On the Historical Logic Consistency of ‘People Foremost’ and ‘Human’s Free and All-round Development’”, Journal of South-Central University for Nationalities (Humanities and Social Sciences) 3 (2007).
 
85. The Analects of Confucius · Yan Yuan: Fan Chi asked about benevolence, and the Confucius said, “The benevolent love people”; and see the Chapter 28 of Mencius · Mencius · Li Lou II, “He who is kind loves others, and he who is courteous respects others.”; Mencius · Jin Xin I, “Only when we are able to love our relatives, can we be kind to our people; Only by loving the people can we cherish everything.”
 
86. The Analects of Confucius · Yan Yuan
 
87. The Analects of Confucius · Yong Ye
 
88. The Analects of Confucius · Xiang Dang, The stable was on fire. Confucius returned from imperial court and asked, “Is there anyone hurt?” He didn’t ask how the horses were.
 
89. Li Jian, “On the Humanistic Implication of Confucius ‘Benevolence’”, Morality and Civilization 2 (2009).
 
90. Mencius · Jin Xin II
 
91. Mencius · Li Lou I
 
92. Guan Zi · Ba Yan
 
93. The Book of Rites · Li Yun
 
94. Shen Zi · Nei Chapters
 
95. Shang Jun Shu · Wang Dao
 
96. Guan Zi · Mu Min
 
97. For the evaluation of this situation, Chen Hongyi, “Chinese Cultural Tradition and Modern Human Rights Concept”, Legal Science 5 (1999).
 
98. Stephen C. Angle, Human Rights in Chinese Thought: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 200-204.
 
99. Zhao Jianwen, “Confucian Liberal Thought: the Integration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Chinese Traditional Culture”, Human Rights 1 (2020).
 
100. Liu Hainian, “Natural Law and The Concept of Human Rights in Chinese Traditional Culture and Its Influence”, Human Rights Studies 2 (2020); Zhang Xiaoling, “On the Ideal of Human Rights in Traditional Chinese Culture”, Theory Front 19 (2000); Zhong Jialian, “On the Expression Features of Human Rights in Traditional Chinese Culture”, Jiangxi Social Sciences 5 (2005); Sha Qiguang, “China’s Traditional Culture and the Concept of Human Rights”, The Journal of International Studies 3 (2003).
 
101. Zhang Xiaoying, “Nozick’s Thoughts on Individual Rights: Notes on Nozick’s ‘Anarchy, State and Utopia’”, Journal of Harbin University 4 (2005).
 
102. James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg, The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997), 27-35.
 
103. Thomas Hobbes and J. C. A. Gaskin, Leviathan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 86-95.
 
104. For more studies, Tang Shiqi, “Western Theories on The Relationship between State and Society”, The Journal of International Studies 4 (1994); Pang Jinyou, “The Logic and Characteristics of Theory on Relations between Modern Western States and Society”, Tianjin Social Sciences 6 (2006); Wang Jiansheng, “Theoretical Evolution of Relations between Western States and Society”, Journal of Henan University (Social Sciences) 6 (2010).
 
105. For more studies, Li Guangyi, “The Spread and Bankruptcy of Anarchism in China”, Journal of Historical Science 2 (1981); Zhou Hong, “Anarchism: A Rootless Social Theory”, Journal of China University of Geosciences (Social Sciences) 3 (2003).
 
106. “The culture of human rights, to a certain extent, mirrors a country’s ideological wisdom, reflects its level of civilization, and represents its cultural soft power.” Lu Guangjin, “Outline of China’s Cultural Construction in Human Rights in the New Era”, Human Rights 2 (2021).
 
107. Lu Guangjin, “The World Significance of Modern China’s Human Rights Development”, Human Rights 2 (2017).
 
108. Li Jiabao, “China’s Concept of Human Rights Resonates”, People’s Daily, July 31, 2021.
 
109. Chen Guangzhong, “Upholding the Combination of Punishing Crime and Protecting Human Rights”, Tribune of Political Science and Law 6 (1996).
 
110. Lu Guangjin, “Human Rights in the Historical Perspective: China’s Path and Contribution”, HongQi WenGao 1 (2021).
 
111. Fan Yongming, “Theory and Policy of Hegemonic Stability”, Contemporary International Relations 9 (2000); Niu Zhen, “On Hegemonic Stability Theory and Its Evaluation”, World Economics and Politics 10 (2000).
 
112. The most striking of which is the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. The China Section in its 2000 Reports lists many aspects of human rights in China that it considers inadequate: The People’s Republic of China is an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party is the paramount authority....Genocide and crimes against humanity occurred during the year against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. These crimes were continuing and include: the arbitrary imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians; forced sterilization, coerced abortions, and more restrictive application of China’s birth control policies; rape; torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained; forced labor; and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement....Significant human rights issues included: arbitrary or unlawful killings by the government; forced disappearances by the government; torture by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison and detention conditions; arbitrary detention by the government, including the mass detention of more than one million Uyghurs and other members of predominantly Muslim minority groups in extrajudicial internment camps and an additional two million subjected to daytime-only “reeducation” training; political prisoners; politically motivated reprisal against individuals outside the country; the lack of an independent judiciary and Communist Party control over the judicial and legal system; arbitrary interference with privacy; pervasive and intrusive technical surveillance and monitoring; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including physical attacks on and criminal prosecution of journalists, lawyers, writers, bloggers, dissidents, petitioners, and others as well as their family members, and censorship and site blocking; interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including overly restrictive laws that apply to foreign and domestic nongovermmental organizations; severe restrictions and suppression of religious freedom; substantial restrictions on freedom of movement; refoulement of asylum seekers to North Korea, where they have a well-founded fear of persecution; the inability of citizens to choose their government; restrictions on political participation; serious acts of corruption; forced sterilization and coerced abortions; forced labor and trafficking in persons; severe restrictions on labor rights, including a ban on workers organizing or joining unions of their own choosing; and child labor.
Government officials and the security services often committed human rights abuses with impunity. Authorities often announced investigations following cases of reported killings by police but did not announce results or findings of police malfeasance or disciplinary action, accessed September 1, 2021, https://www.state.gov/reports/2020-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/china/.
 
113. Yang Huang, “Transcending the Old Path of ‘A Strong Country Is Bound to Seek Hegemony’ — The Innovation and Significance of Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics”, Contemporary World & Socialism 2 (2015).
 
114. Cai Cuihong, “Discourse of ‘Thucydides Trap’ in Sino-US Relations”, International Studies 3 (2016); Yan Shaoxiang, “The Rise of Athens and the ‘Fear’ of Sparta: On the ‘Thucydides Trap’”, Historical Studies 6 (2017).
 
115. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Republic of China, “Firmly Oppose the United States’ Groundless Slander and Attack on China’s Human Rights Situation”, People’s Daily, April 8, 2007.
 
116. Liu Zhibiao and Wu Fuxiang, “The Dual Embedment of Global Value Chains under the Belt and Road Initiative”, Social Sciences in China 8 (2018).
 
117. Xu Xianming, “The Analysis on the Universality of Human Rights and the Culture of Human Rights”, Law Review 6 (1999).
 
118. Zeng Lingliang, “Construction of International Rule of Law and China’s Rule of Law”, Social Sciences in China 10 (2015).
 
119. Liu Xuebin and Cai Jianfang, “A Preliminary Study on the International Rule of Law for Human Rights”, Journal of Social Sciences of Jilin University 2 (2011).
 
120. Qu Xinru, “The Historical and Cultural Reflections on the Differences between Chinese and Western Views on Human Rights”, Journal of Northwest University (Philosophy and Social Sciences) 4 (2006).
 
121. Wang Xigen, “Dialogue and Transcendence: The Development Path of China’s Legal Protection for Human Rights in the Era of Globalization”, Journal of Wuhan University (Humanities) 4 (2005).
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