Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday held a meeting with visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in south China’s Guangdong Province, elaborating China’s position on human rights issues. Wang welcomed Bachelet’s first visit to China as the UN high commissioner for human rights, saying it is the first time after an interval of 17 years that China has hosted a UN high commissioner for human rights, which is of landmark significance to both sides.
He said that he hopes Bachelet’s visit will be a trip of enhancing mutual understanding, strengthening cooperation and clarifying matters. During her visit from May 23 to May 28, Bachelet will visit Guangdong and northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and undertake extensive exchanges with Chinese people.
Wang told Bachelet China has always prioritized the right to subsistence, adding that the country feeds nearly one-fifth of the total global population with less than nine percent of the world’s arable land. He mentioned that China has established the world’s largest social security system and the universal coverage of medical insurance system.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, China has insisted on putting people and life first and has done everything possible to protect the lives and health of its people, Wang added.
China always regards development as a matter of priority, Wang said, adding the country has eliminated absolute poverty, meeting the goal established in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 10 years ahead of schedule.
The Chinese foreign minister stressed that China has always made it a fundamental responsibility to safeguard its citizens’ legitimate rights and interests.
He noted the country has constantly developed whole-process people’s democracy integrating process-oriented democracy with results-oriented democracy, procedural democracy with substantive democracy, direct democracy with indirect democracy, and electoral democracy with consultative democracy. Wang highlighted that China always focuses on protecting special groups, including the rights of ethnic minorities.
Through Central Government’s support and paired-up assistance, the country helps ethnic minorities to promote common development and prosperity, Wang noted, adding that China effectively guarantees ethnic minority rights in administering state affairs.
China has always taken the protection of its people’s security as a long-term goal, Wang said.
Chinese people’s sense of security has maintained as high as over 98 percent in recent years, he said, adding the country scored among the highest in law, security and order survey by an authoritative international pollster last year.
Bachelet, for her part, congratulated China on its achievements in economic and social development and on protecting human rights.
She also spoke highly of China’s contributions to promoting multilateralism, development financing and areas that are important for human rights development, such as sustainable development, poverty relief, climate change and ecological protection.
‘No double standards
on human rights’
Wang also stressed the importance of sticking to fairness and justice and rejecting double standards in developing the international cause of human rights.
Mutual respect should also be practiced, and human rights issue should not be politicized, he added.
Developing the cause of human rights cannot be detached from a country’s realities and development phase, Wang said. He added that principles of openness and inclusiveness should be held, and confrontation over human rights should be rejected. Major countries should especially lead by example through practicing multilateralism, abiding by the principles and purpose of the UN charter, respecting international law and safeguarding international fairness and justice, said the Chinese foreign minister. – CGTN