China's Human Rights Regression; Compliance Rhetoric Has Improved, but Actual Freedoms Have Not

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

China's Human Rights Regression; Compliance Rhetoric Has Improved, but Actual Freedoms Have Not


Byline: Rep. Christopher H. Smith, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Saturday marked both International Human Rights Day and one year since Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work promoting human rights and democracy in China. Human Rights Day, which commemorates the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), is an occasion to affirm our commitment to advancing the values of human rights common to us all. Nobel Laureate Liu's continued imprisonment in a Chinese jail is a stark reminder of the urgency of this task.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines fundamental human rights standards, such as the freedoms of expression, association and religion and freedom from arbitrary detention. The Chinese government - a signatory to the declaration - disregards its obligations to uphold those rights and continues to punish citizens who defend them. Mr. Liu is a case in point.

Chinese authorities took Mr. Liu into custody in December 2008, one day before Chinese citizens released Charter 08, a treatise calling for political reform and human rights protections in China. Authorities cited Mr. Liu's involvement in the charter and six essays he had written as the basis for sentencing him in 2009 to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion of state power, the longest known sentence for that crime. The case was marred by severe violations of due process under both Chinese and international law.

Mr. Liu's crime was speaking out against Chinese government repression and promoting peaceful reform. Other Chinese citizens are held in prison or under house arrest for acts such as worshipping in house churches, organizing labor protests, petitioning against official abuses or challenging China's barbaric one-child-per-couple policy.

Chinese citizens who aim to defend their rights, promote reform or advocate on behalf of others - actions that embody the very spirit of the UDHR and Human Rights Day - have been particularly vulnerable in the past year. As democracy movements brought new freedoms in other parts of the world, Chinese authorities launched one of the harshest crackdowns in recent memory against lawyers and activists.

Other rights advocates, like Mr. Liu, were the victims of earlier repression and continue to suffer in detention, their whereabouts unknown, or under illegal house arrest. Authorities disappeared lawyer Gao Zhisheng in 2009 for his efforts defending workers and religious believers. Local authorities currently hold blind, self-trained legal advocate Chen Guangcheng under extralegal house arrest following more than four years in prison for his work to expose abuses and the coercion inherent in the one-child-per-couple policy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

China's Human Rights Regression; Compliance Rhetoric Has Improved, but Actual Freedoms Have Not
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.