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Experts Shed Light on China's Human Rights Progress Especially in Xinjiang and Xizang

By XUELIN MU|Jan 26,2024

The UN Universal Periodic Review of China’s Human Rights was held in Geneva on January 23. At the review, over 120 countries positively assessed the advancement of China’s human rights efforts and acknowledged China’s persistent endeavors in advancing and safeguarding human rights. After the review, Bridging News interviewed experts in the human rights field, and they unfolded the situation of human rights in China to which the international community has attached most importance.

China’s achievements in human rights complimented

Prof. Mao Junxiang in Geneva ( Photo/Prof. Mao Junxiang)

Commenting on the international community’s response to China’s human rights records during this review, Mao Junxiang, executive director of the Human Rights Center of Central South University, said that most countries had given objective and fair assessments and complimented the progress China had made in human rights undertakings, especially in achievements in poverty alleviation. He also criticized some Western countries for politicizing human rights. Their behaviors are against “Universality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization” of the universal periodic review mechanism of human rights.

Meanwhile, he mentioned highlights in China’s protection and development of human rights after the last review in 2018. One is that nearly 100 million poverty-stricken populations in rural areas of China have shaken off poverty totally through China’s Targeted Poverty Alleviation Strategy. One is improving human rights through legislation systems like enacting the Civil Code and amendment of the Law on the Protection of Rights and Interests of Women. Moreover, China has built the world’s largest social security, medical, and education systems.

Xizang harvests historic achievements in human rights

Dr. Xiao Wu in Geneva (Photo/ Dr. Xiao Wu)

Dr. Xiao Wu from the Human Rights Institute of Southwest University of Politic Science & Law commented that people from ethnic minorities of Xizang are best qualified to speak on the human rights of Xizang. He said that some countries have weaponized and politicized human rights and fabricated rumors about the human rights of Xizang.

He also introduced that the Chinese government has made relentless efforts to protect and improve human rights through key construction projects, a series of special preferential policies to benefit people from ethnic minorities in Xizang, integrating the idea of protecting and developing human rights into every aspect and stage of government’s work in Xizang, and so forth.  

He said that nowadays, Xizang has eradicated the absolute poverty that had plagued the area for a long time, and great advancements have been made in the local economy, people’s livelihoods, and cultural prosperity. The political rights of ethnic minorities have been safeguarded through China’s whole-process people’s democracy, regional autonomy of ethnic minorities, and organic combining the people as masters of the country with law-based governance of Xizang. Freedom of religious belief of ethnic minorities in Xizang has been respected and well protected, and harmonious religions and communities have been safeguarded. Ecosystems and biodiversities have been well preserved in Xizang.

Dr. Suolang Zhuoma in Geneva (Photo/ Dr. Suolang Zhuoma)

Suolang Zhuoma, an Assistant Researcher from China Tibetology Research Center, busted so-called cultural genocides in Xizang fabricated by some countries. She said the Chinese government has invested considerable human resources and financial support in preserving and restoring precious traditional architecture in Xizang, protecting and using Tibetan classics. The Chinese government has also attached great importance to preserving the languages of ethnic minorities. For instance, the Tibetan language has been taught in primary schools, middle schools, and high schools; the Tibetan language can be seen everywhere in public. Traditional Tibetan culture, arts, and festivals have been well preserved and flourished through training classes and various activities.

Ethnic minorities in Xinjiang fully enjoying human rights

Prof. Remina Xiaokaiti in Geneva (Photo/ Remina Xiaokaiti)

Remina Xiaokaiti is from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and is now an associate professor at Xinjiang University. She introduced that the economy and society in Xinjiang have developed rapidly. She said that in recent years, the GDP in Xinjiang annually grown by 5.1%, the revenue in the general public budgets annually increased by 4.8%, the per capita disposable income of urban residents annually rose by 4.5%, and the per capita disposable income of rural residents annually grows by 8.4%.

Meanwhile, the traditional culture and folk customs, languages, and words of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang have been well preserved and carried forward. The rights of ethnic minorities, like using their own languages, enjoying the freedom of religious beliefs, creating literature and arts, and so forth, are respected and guaranteed. Qualities of enjoying basic rights like political rights, economic rights, access to education, and so on have been remarkably improved. Languages of ethnic minorities are widely used in judicature, administration, education, press and publications, radios and televisions, the internet, social public affairs, and so forth. 

The Chinese government has also bolstered efforts and sources to collate and restore Uygur ancient books and protect and carry forward Uygur intangible cultures. For example, Uygur music instruments, carpets, and Atlas silk are intangible cultural heritages. China has invested capital in setting up nation-level productive protection bases for intangible culture heritages in Xinjiang to protect and save these precious heritages. Local government will open free classes to teach local people of ethnic minorities techniques and skills to make these cultural items. These measures not only preserve and carry forward cultural heritages but also increase local people’s income by creating employment. 


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