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Human rights don't have a colour Human rights don't have a colour
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-05-15 09:48:19
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The issue of human rights in China isn’t complicated. Unfortunately the global situation regarding human rights has made it so. China is guilty for violating human rights and all the NGOs and human rights’ organizations are totally right to talk about it; China is still practicing the death penalty and all the NGOs, institutions, including the EU, are totally right to complain about it and point it out.

The controlled economy, the one-party governing and political situation don’t guarantee a democratic environment and many organizations and institutions are right to complain about it. But then when you check the other side of the hill you start wondering who’s talking.

One of the loudest countries to talk about human rights in China is the US but the current USA administration has constantly violated human rights on many levels over the last few years and all in the name of security – an excuse China uses often as well. The American administration is responsible for Guantanamo Bay and the camps for suspects of terrorism all around the globe. It isn’t even with a sense of irony when the US talks about the death penalty, since they are second only to China.

In addition, with one scandal following the other – including the US involvement in the International Bank – it makes it more than obvious that the American political system might not be one-party governing but the George W. Bush administration often acts like it is, ignoring any opposition even when that comes from one of the major international institutions such as the UN.

From the other side the Chinese economy literally thrives, Chinese products have flooded onto European markets forcing the EU committee to take measures for some kind of control, especially after the panic caused when Chinese fabrics invaded the European market and, in the end, offering better quality and often unbelievable pricing. Of course, this doesn’t stop European companies wanting to invest in the overpopulated China with the best example being the Finnish leading mobile telephone company NOKIA that considers China the investing market of the decade.

After the first shock of Hong-Kong’s return to Chinese control and overcoming the first fears of how independent this market crossroad would be, the Hong-Kong stock market is back to its international leading role, attracting investors from the entire world to the Asian market.

So who is going to talk about human rights in the beginning of the 21st century? All are guilty of violating human rights one way or another and, at the same time, each of them found side interests – especially financial - that somehow can compromise their need to defend the rights of people they have often violated themselves. In the end the only times they remember human rights is when they need to add something more on the negotiating table and they are quite ready to forget them every time they get what they want; often ignoring the fact that humans die and suffer daily.

As I said in the beginning the issue of human rights in China has become quite complicated and often China is right to say, “Look who’s talking!” There is another side as well, the NGOs, the UN and independent organizations are obliged to report violations of human rights and have often debated that China is at the top of the list of countries that violate human rights in record numbers, with thousands executed.

The Beijing Olympic Games of 2008 are a priority for the Chinese government and an opportunity to prove that China is not a state to inspire fear but, according to the Olympic spirit, render equality, understanding, respect, peace and harmony; values also inspired by ancient Chinese art.

Artwork for today's cover was taken from www.studentsforafreetibet.org


    
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