The Chinese government Sunday released a white paper on human rights in China in 2009. It hightlighs Internet freedom and the country’s efforts in safeguarding citizens’ legitimate civil and political rights.
According to China’s official news agency Xinhua “The overall cause of human rights has been promoted in an all-round way,” says the white paper, published by the State Council Information Office under the title “Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2009″.
But there is already some disagreement about what terms such as “human rights” and freedom mean.
The Wall Street Journal blogger Josh Chin summed it up like this:
Ask American politicians to explain “human rights” and you’re likely to get the usual litany of time-worn liberal democratic abstractions: freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, habeas corpus.
“Ask a Chinese politician and you get…car ownership?
“In an extensive whitepaper released over the weekend, China’s State Council Information Office argues authorities in Beijing have made significant progress in protecting human rights over the past year. Entitled “Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2009 (full text), the paper features a cornucopia of statistics and arguments that throws into stark, and sometimes amusing, relief the different ways Chinese and Western governments define the concept.