By China Watcher
On 9 February 2009, the Group of Western nations and some Latin American countries called on China to bring an end to the death penalty and to adopt a listing of human rights reforms which include the enactment of laws to allow independent labor unions at the United Nations Human Rights Council three hour session.
The debate came in the 2-1/2-year-old Council's Universal Periodic Review procedure that all U.N. members are expected to undergo every four years.
China boldly and clearly told these countries that China actions have always been according to the rule of law and vehemently denied there are such rampant rights related issues like child labor and “secret prisons” for tortures of dissidents.
China has however accepted more constructive suggestions to reinforce censorship of the Internet that relates to “defamation of religion” and the rights of action against any “self styled human rights defenders’ especially from US and Europe. Chinese officials have on many occasions blamed human right activists particularly those from Europe which has a hidden agenda to bring instability to the country with the hope to slow China’s amazing economic growth rate and to preserve a world order which is heavily Western dominated.
China should take note that certain Latin American nations have jumped onto the bandwagon steered by most Western states to hit at China’s death penalty record. Three countries reported in the media are Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. I urge the Chinese government to condemn these countries human rights activities when it is their turn to face the Council..
Trusted and all weathered nations like Pakistan, Cuba and Sri Lanka supported China’s progress on its own version of human rights were also noted. Egypt supported China’s stance that under the "current environment" capital punishment cannot be abolished. Even certain states in the US (like Texas) had not done away with the death penalty.
I applauded China’s outright rejection of recommendations on rights reform and greater rights for ethnic minorities such as Tibetans and Uighurs as these are political ploy used by the West to break up China into many small entities which would not pose a threat to the largely Western dominated world order in the near future. Tibetans and Uighurs had received equal treatment from the Chinese government as what the other 53 smaller minorities in China enjoyed and why should they be given better rights than others?
In the debate over China’s overall human right record, many Third World Countries praised China as beacon of progress and an alternative for them to follow, and many of them fiercely criticized Western delegations for "politicizing" the discussion.
Western countries that have continuously raised human rights issues against China in the UN are Britain, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland. China must find an innovative approach to deal with such coordinated efforts from these same Group of Western countries which had been actively using human rights as a tool to garner electoral support from its citizens in their own country.
Since January 2007 when China’s Supreme Court took back the sole authority in reviewing the death penalty, I have noticed a substantial decrease in issuing death sentences, especially those cases for immediate execution. Last year, 860 were given death sentences and at least 470 were executed, a remarkable reduction from 2006’s 1010, or 2005’s 1770. If we viewed the deaths from a percentage of its population of 1.3 billion, 470 is small.
I strongly support the Chinese government efforts to continuously review its judicial procedures rather than the outright condemnation of its records in order to gain the trust of the Chinese people (not the nosy Western people) so that innocent people are not wrongfully convicted.