China defends human rights record

China defends rights limitations by saying it combines universal human rights with Chinese realities

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, March 11, 2016.

China defended itself against criticism at the United Nations on its human rights record on Friday by saying that it combines universal human rights with Chinese realities. At the same time Beijing also accused the US of violating its soverignity.

The United States and 11 other countries took China to task at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, demanding Beijing immediately release all detained activists and lawyers.

"We are concerned about China's deteriorating human rights record, notably the arrests and ongoing detention of rights activists, civil society leaders and lawyers."

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei defended his government by saying "no country is perfect" and accused Washington of "seriously interfering with China’s domestic affairs and judicial sovereignty."

Hong said Beijing protected the rights of its citizens "by combining principles of the universality of human rights with China’s realities."

"We have found a path with Chinese characteristics and made remarkable achievements," he added.

China's ruling Communist Party, under President Xi Jinping, applies strict controls to civil society and opponents.The government has detained and interrogated more than 200 human rights lawyers and activists.

China has also been criticised for detaining five Hong Kong booksellers who wen't missing then reappeared on mainland. The five booksellers, including a British and Swedish citizen dissapeared after selling books opposing the communist government and revealing Chinese Communist Party secrets.

TRTWorld and agencies