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China foils US' human rights motion again
Updated: 2004-04-16 00:59

The nation foiled yet another anti-China move brewed by the United States at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

The US move was shot down with a "no-action" motion tabled by China, which was passed by voting late Wednesday at the 60th session of the commission.

This is China's 11th victory over a US-led anti-China bid since 1990.

With 28 votes for, 16 against and nine abstentions, the 53-member commission approved the Chinese motion, thus rejecting the US draft resolution against China before it was put to a vote.

In a statement before the vote, Chinese Ambassador Sha Zukang said that if the logic of the United States -- which said the human rights situation in China "worsened sharply" -- holds any truth, China would have already backslid to the primitive stage.

"Facts have shown that far from backsliding, the human rights situation in China has advanced significantly. Reacting from disappointment and jealousy, the US came up with this anti-China resolution," Sha told more than 500 participants at the meeting.

A recent United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report has acknowledged the enormous progress made by China in achieving the UN Millennium Goals and predicted that China could realize most of the goals in the Millennium Declaration by the year 2015, he said.

"It is particularly noteworthy that last March the National People's Congress incorporated the concept that 'the State respects and protects human rights' into the Chinese Constitution, thus marking an important milestone in China's cause to promote and protect human rights," he added.

Since the United States has repeatedly refused visits by special rapporteur on torture and other special mechanisms of the Human Rights Commission, Sha said "the US has no qualification to find fault with China and nitpick at China's human rights situation."

The United States claims that the resolution this year is very mildly-worded.

Still Ambassador Sha has a different opinion.

"It is only obvious that the US resolution is nothing but a sugar-coated bullet. And even masquerading as a mild resolution, its true purpose of obstinately interfering in the affairs of other countries in order to serve its domestic interests cannot be concealed."

"Appointing itself as a 'human rights defender,' the US picks on the human rights situations of other countries at will, but says nothing about its own disastrous human rights records. I cannot imagine how such a grand superpower could be so cowardly," he said.

Sha reiterated that China welcomes well-intentioned criticism and suggestions from other countries, but the US anti-China resolution is "for the sole purpose of serving the interests of its domestic presidential election, rather than that of genuine concern for human rights."

Pakistani representative Shaukat Umer said the US-brewed draft resolution put in jeopardy the United Nations' objective of co-operation among nations.

"In China, people enjoy all rights, and the government has been committed to the respect of human rights for years," he said.

"At present, China is one of the leading economies of the world. Its gross domestic product (GDP) has grown tremendously; it exceeded even those of some developed nations. The efforts of China have liberated its people from the shackles of poverty. China's development record is a matter of pride for all," he added.

Russian representative Leonid Skotnikov said China set an impressive example across the board for the entire world, including in the sphere of the protection of human rights.

"Nothing but astonishment could be expressed at the tabling of this draft resolution. China had proved its openness to co-operation and did not need any prompting from anybody," he said.

Ivan Mora Godoy, the Cuban representative, said: "The soap opera of the draft resolution on China that has been followed for a number of years was one of low quality."

"The exercise represented manipulation and attempts to bring pressure to bear on China. It sought to interfere in China's domestic affairs. This was a major problem of this infantilism: It was like big boys who went around picking fights," he said.

"All should really learn from China. There should not be blindness to the situation. China is not so small. It is a big country in terms of will, people and ability to grow," he added.

The representative of Indonesia said Indonesia strongly believes that genuine efforts to promote and protect human rights should be based on a spirit of co-operation.

"The progress made in China in respect to economic, social and cultural rights made clear the country's commitment to human rights. China did not deserve to be targeted in such a manner," he said.

The representatives of Sudan, Congo, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Mauritania also spoke at the meeting, stressing the great achievements China has made on human rights and opposing the US anti-China draft resolution.

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