Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2013… according to the Chinese Government

As it happens to many governments, there is a moment in the year when the Chinese Government presents an overall picture of the human rights situation in the country, and we at ICT are naturally interested in reading it, especially about Tibet. This year it happened last week.

What is peculiar about China is that while (democratic) governments present their annual human rights reports trying to be accurate and objective, China’s authorities continue to embrace propaganda starting from its title — “White Paper: Progress in China’s human rights in 2013” — not even contemplating that “progress” might not happen concerning the respect of human rights. What is striking is that despite the dire situations in Tibet and Xinjiang, there is not even the slightest recognition by the Chinese of the vast human rights violations that continue to happen.

A blog is not the place to make a systematic analysis of the claims presented in the White Paper, but while I encourage you to read it yourself. I wish to draw your attention to a few sentences.

In the chapter about the “Rights of ethnic minorities” all the paragraphs begin with celebratory remarks. A few examples:

“China has established the principle that all ethnic groups are equal and jointly participate in the management of state affairs on the constitutional, legal and systemic levels.”

“The political rights of ethnic minorities are fully guaranteed.”

“The socioeconomic rights of ethnic minorities are fully protected.”

“The cultural legacies of Tibet are effectively protected, and the local religion and traditional customs and social mores are respected.”

For a country that aspires to be accepted as an important and reliable international power, China clearly needs to make a lot of progress and democratic governments should never accept unreliable and unconfirmed information from it. We at ICT have a solution: if China thinks that the reality of the human rights situation in Tibet is such, it can prove it by inviting UN experts and human rights NGOs to Tibet to see it for themselves.


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Matteo Mecacci

Matteo Mecacci, is President of the International Campaign for Tibet. Born in Firenze (Florence) Italy, Matteo Mecacci, studied International law at the University of Firenze. He represented the Transnational Radical Party and No Peace without Justice at the UN in New York from 2001 to 2008 and later served as a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies as well as an elected official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly. In that capacity he participated in over 20 election observation missions, including as OSCE Special Coordinator in Serbia and Belarus in 2012.
He was appointed head of mission of the OSCE/ODHIR election observation mission in Georgia in 2013. He served as Chairperson of the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet, and in 2009, he organized the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet in Rome. He was Co-chair of the International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT) and played an active role in promoting Tibetan democracy in exile, and was a Co-Chair of the Tibetan Election Observation Mission in 2011.