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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly

2021/10/07

Mr. Chair,

Equality and human rights are not only the shared aspiration of all humanity, but also a goal our Chinese people constantly pursue. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, we have found a development path suited to our national conditions, and realized national independence and prosperity. The Chinese people have become the real master of the country. And ideals of democracy, human rights, freedom and equality have been translated into reality. China has achieved constant progress in human rights and made prominent contribution to the global human rights cause.

The greatest achievement in human rights is to bring a happy life to the people. China’s human rights progress has brought tangible benefit to its people, and is widely recognized by people around the world.

China has brought about a historic resolution to absolute poverty, and achieved the SDG on poverty alleviation 10 years ahead of the schedule.

Putting people and their lives front and center, China has achieved strategic progress in containing the pandemic at home. Meanwhile, China has provided over 100 countries and international organizations with more than 1.2 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines, more than any other country in the world.

As a Chinese saying goes, people with fair judgment can tell right from wrong. The best answer of China’s human rights situation lies in the happy life and smiling faces of the Chinese people. A poll conducted by a western institution also shows that the Chinese people's satisfaction toward the government exceeds 90 percent. China knows that the nation is composed of people, and people are all that matter to the nation. It is the people’s support that gives us the greatest strength in advancing our human rights path with distinctive Chinese features.

Mr. Chair,

The promotion and protection of human rights is a dynamic process in history. In this process, the international community must steer the right course forward.

We must uphold the diversity of paths for human rights development, instead of imposing any certain model onto others. Human rights are universal, yet the paths toward them are diverse. With different national conditions, development stages, cultures and traditions, countries naturally will explore their own path of human rights development in line with their own features. Imposing human rights governance models from the outside is neither democratic nor feasible. There are many such failed cases. Some individual western countries should seriously do some soul-searching and mend their way.

We must uphold dialogue and cooperation, instead of creating confrontation. At the general debate of the UN General Assembly, leaders around the world together called on the international community to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and practice true multilateralism to meet global challenges. It’s only been a few days after that, yet some countries just cannot wait to go back to their old business. They talk about returning to multilateralism, while forming exclusive cliques and provoking confrontation; they talk about upholding international order, while making trouble here and there, imposing unilateral sanctions and coercive measures, and infringing upon the rights and interests of people of other countries. These moves, in violation of the trend of the times, must be stopped.

We must uphold fairness and justice, instead of bullying practices. The world is progressing. Gone are the days when developing countries were trampled upon. Human rights are not some privilege of the western people, and people of all countries have the right to live a happy life. This is what fairness and justice should be about. Some countries, despite all their high-sounding words, actually only care about themselves, and allow no one else to outperform them. They see everything they do as right and everything others do as wrong. Such logic of power politics will not only harm the world, but also eventually backfire.

Mr. Chair,

This year, we again witness some strange phenomenon at the Third Committee: The US and a few other countries are provoking confrontation, pointing fingers at other developing countries’ human rights situation, and brazenly launching smear campaigns. At the same time, they choose to stay silent on their own problems and turn a blind eye to the terrible human rights records of their allies. The statement just made by the representative of France once again sounded a disturbing note. Such selectivity and politicization have seriously poisoned the cooperative atmosphere of the UN.

In total disregard of facts, the US and a few other countries are fabricating lies on Xinjiang-, Tibet- and Hong Kong-related issues, making groundless accusations against China, and using human rights to interfere in China’s internal affairs. These moves are firmly opposed and resolutely rejected by the Chinese Government and people.

I must point out that the accusations by the US and a few other countries are totally unfounded, unjust and go against the prevailing trend of our times. Instead of caring about human rights in China, their real intention is to sabotage China’s stability and development. China’s progress is a result of the hard work of the Chinese people. We never see it as a gift from other countries. And we will never allow anyone to deprive the Chinese people of their rights to development and a happy life. China’s progress will by no means be stopped by any external disruption.

To the US and a few other countries, let me say this: It’s time to wake up! Facing global challenges, dialogue and cooperation is the right way forward.

China is ready to conduct human rights dialogues with countries with good will, and welcomes opinions and suggestions in good faith. At the same time, our resolve to follow our own development path remains unshakable; our resolve to defend China’s fundamental interests remains unshakable; and our resolve to safeguard the common interests and dignity of the wider developing world remains unshakable.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

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