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The Barbados Advocate Published H.E. Ambassador Wei Qiang's Letter Regarding Human Rights

On October 12, 2010, the Barbados Advocate published H.E. Ambassador Wei Qiang’s Letter to the Editor, regarding Human Rights as follows:

After reading with much interest the article Barbadian Appreciation of Human Rights, by Mr. Philip C. Goddard, in The Barbados Advocate of Sunday, October 10, 2010, I’d like to make a few comments as follows:

First point: I agree with Mr. Goddard on the importance of vigorously safeguarding and promoting the cause of human rights and rule of law as universal values. This has been actually a very important and successful part of China’s now already three-decade-long reform and opening up process. Whoever has followed closely China’s development these years should be able to see it as a true fact. And I imagine Mr. Goddard will agree with me that the rule of law principle is certainly applicable to the human rights promotion activities, which should be carried out on a legal basis and not by breaking the law of a country.

Second point: China advocates and takes active part in the international dialogue and cooperation in human rights-related matters both with developed and fellow developing countries. China has subscribed all relevant UN human rights instruments and plays an important role in the relevant international fora. And it is our view that this dialogue and cooperation, to be effective and beneficial for all parties involved, must be on a good faith, equal and mutually respectful footing instead of in a confrontational, name-calling or sweeping labeling fashion. After all, principles like the respect to the national sovereignty and no interference in domestic affairs of other country remain valid as fundamental norms of the international law today. This is particularly important for developing nations.

Finally, with regard to the question of Mr. Liu Xiaobo being awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, I just want to point out that: No.1, he is in jail not because he’s a political dissident or a human rights activist. There are many dissidents and activists of all sorts going around freely in China as long as they do not break the law or jeopardize the public order. Mr. Liu Xiaobo is in jail because he has committed offences against the Chinese law and has been fairly tried, convicted and sentenced according to that law.

No. 2, I do believe it has been a wrong and unfortunate decision to grant the Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Liu Xiaobo, a highly controversial character, to say the least. Wrong and unfortunate because the Nobel Prize is supposed to be given to undoubted achievements, not to controversy-filled-or-prone figures; and because it clearly is not conducive to “the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses” as enshrined in the will of Mr. Nobel. Rather it is conducive to a setback in the relationship between China and Western countries, as it makes most people in China suspect that the Nobel Peace Prize has been reduced to a political tool of certain Western interests against China. This kind of setbacks is no good for anyone or anything, indeed not for the Chinese human rights cause.

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