Book Review Xi Jinping: Respect and Guarantee of Human Rights
Muhammad Arshad Bhatti, Pakistani newspaper reporter The Nation
A great dream of humanity is to fully guarantee the rights of all human beings living on the planet, and this is also a dream that the great leaders of human history have always strived to achieve. Since the creation of the first civilization, human beings have lived in the colorful world and their different thoughts and ideas have been part of humanity’s common sense. While praising peace and harmony on Earth, the human community still suffers from barbarity and massacre. Over many eras, he learned to respect humanity and human rights. Each era has its own demands, so the definition of human rights changes in each era and in each region, and each civilization has a different view of human rights.
Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (hereinafter referred to as the CPC), the Chinese government has made great efforts to ensure human rights and human well-being. In Xi Jinping: Respect and Guarantee of Human Rights, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recently released book makes reference to the view of the CCP, the Chinese government and the Chinese nation on human rights. This book has nine chapters and 335 paragraphs cited in speeches, comments, congratulatory letters and indications by Xi Jinping on different occasions from November 15, 2012 to October 30, 2021. Versions in Arabic, Portuguese, German, Swahili, Urdu and Vietnamese of the book were edited and released by the publisher Foreign Languages Pressso readers from different countries and regions can better understand the concept of China’s human rights.
The first chapter of the book deals with the commitments made by the CCP and the Chinese government to respect and guarantee human rights, in which President Xi comprehensively addressed the efforts made by the CCP to promote human rights. The second chapter includes speeches, comments, congratulatory letters and instructions from Xi Jinping, which provide guidance for the Chinese people in searching for a path appropriate to the Chinese national context. The third chapter addresses the principles of the people-centered concept of human rights. The fourth and fifth chapters highlight that subsistence and development rights are basic human rights and deal with actions to achieve common prosperity and the vision of prioritizing the safety and health of the people. Also, the sixth chapter refers to efforts to improve the rights of the economy, politics, society, culture and the environment. The seventh chapter presents President Xi’s views and indications on the rights of different groups such as ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and the disabled. The eighth chapter refers to laws that protect human rights. And the ninth chapter broadly addresses how to contribute to the diversity of human civilization and the promotion of the development of human rights in the world.
The work conveys simple and explicit information: each person has the right to put their right to earn a life of dignity and wealth and achieve progress first, and the Chinese government, under the leadership of the CCP, is dedicated to the well-being and development of its people. Every person is looking for prosperity. Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China, due to the invasion of Western powers and the decline of the feudal government, China began to become a semi-feudal and semi-colonial society, with the country humiliated and devastated. The Chinese nation stood up against this repression and dictatorship, and, after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the entire world could see the extraordinary miracle in human history created by the Chinese people.
In the congratulatory letter sent to the “Beijing Human Rights Forum”, President Xi Jinping pointed out, “After modern times, having gone through so much misery, the Chinese people are perfectly aware of the great importance of human value, basic human rights and from human dignity to the development and advancement of society. We deeply appreciate the hard-won peaceful development environment. We will firmly follow the path of peaceful development and unswervingly promote the cause of Chinese and global human rights.”
For students of politics, this book should be interesting, as it presents the concept of Chinese human rights in an abundant and explicit way. After deep considerations, Xi Jinping demonstrated the issue of human rights to the world. He has put forward the goal of realizing human rights on many occasions, defining it as an important achievement of the Chinese government and the CCP. In recent years, millions of Chinese have been lifted out of poverty and are living fulfilling lives. At the same time, President Xi also wanted to tell the world that a country’s democracy should be defined by its people, and not by other minority outside forces. Democracy does not mean evaluating different democratic regimes with a single dimension and criticizing different political civilizations with a stereotypical view. He pointed out, “The CCP and the Chinese government always respect and uphold human rights. For a long time, China has combined the universality of human rights with the Chinese reality, constantly boosting economic and social development, strengthening the people’s well-being, fostering equity and justice, strengthening the guarantee of human rights and legalization and striving to promote coordinated and comprehensive development across economic, social and cultural rights and political and civil rights. As a result, livelihood and development rights have been highly guaranteed, and a development path suitable for China’s national context has been created.”
Anyone observing China’s development can see that under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, China attaches great importance to guaranteeing and promoting human rights. According to the principle of putting the people’s well-being in the priority position, the right to development is preferential. Furthermore, the Chinese government is promoting human rights in all aspects of human development. Referencing a quote, President Xi pointed out that China will persist in the human rights guideline of prioritizing the people, the creators of history. The CCP aims to serve the people with heart and soul. Therefore, Xi commented that the people are the root and greatest strength of the CCP’s governance, and the Party always respects the will of the people. On the other hand, President Xi also highlighted that the people’s needs and desires must be met, so that they can benefit from the fruits of economic, political, cultural, social and environmental development and enjoy greater happiness and security.
I think Xi Jinping’s vision of respecting and guaranteeing human rights reflects his lofty thoughts and insightful observations about the future. According to him, development is an eternal theme of human society. This opinion was confirmed by Declaration on the Rights to Development of the UN. President Xi stressed that he must put the protection of people’s lives and safety first, because life is the most precious. We only have one life. If we lose life, it will never come back. As the CCP’s mission is to serve the people with heart and soul, we must and can, at all costs, protect the lives and safety of the people.
Xi said he must adhere to the fundamental national policy of equality between men and women, protect the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, and improve the system to guarantee services. Furthermore, he highlighted that legal protection of human rights must be strengthened. Legalization is an important guarantee of human rights. According to him, the main goal of administering the country in accordance with the law in all aspects is to protect the rights and interests of the people in accordance with the law.
With the mission of serving the human community, the CCP is a party that fights for the cause of its people and the development of humanity. Xi addressed this topic in the ninth chapter of the book, pointing out that due to the difference in culture and regime, people from different countries have different understandings of human rights, but the beauty of human civilization lies in diversity. This diversity is not horrible, however, arrogance, prejudice and hostility are wrong attitudes. Imposing your own history, culture and social order on others is a dangerous thing. Xi also expressed that China proposes to promote exchanges between different civilizations and cooperation and dialogues on the issue of human rights between countries, promoting their better development. He highlighted that peace and development are our objective, justice is our common ideology, and democracy and freedom are our shared goal. So, let’s understand the value concepts of different civilizations with more tolerance. It is impossible for long-term global development to be based on the ever-widening gap between rich and poor. Only with common development between countries can the world develop better. He advocates keeping an open mind, promoting mutual cooperation and seeking equal development and achieving equal opportunity for development, so that the fruits of modernization benefit the people of all countries equitably. Furthermore, he urged the global community to strive to pursue a development path with equity, openness and inclusion.
In the quotes, Xi reiterated that the CCP has deep feelings not only for the Chinese people, but also for the people of all countries in the world. Humanity is a community of shared destiny. Therefore, we must promote the cause of human rights according to the reality of each country and the demands of its people. We are firmly opposed to the act of interfering in the domestic politics of other countries under the pretext of “democracy”, “freedom” and “human rights”.
This book serves as an important document full of valuable insights and profound thoughts, dealing with the respect and protection of human rights. I hope it helps readers understand the concept of China’s human rights and offers you new views of understanding human rights.