Statement by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Jun at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
6 October 2020
The world today is facing major challenges. It is at a critical juncture. We just commemorated the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. World leaders have called for solidarity and cooperation in fighting COVID-19 and addressing global challenges. That represents the common call of the international community and the peoples of all countries.
Regrettably, however, we are once again hearing noises from a number of countries. The US, Germany and the UK, ignoring the call from all sides, insist on provoking antagonism. They abuse the UN platform, politicize human rights issues, and provoke political confrontation. They spread false information and political virus, smear China, and interfere in China’s internal affairs. China firmly opposes and rejects that.
I would like to say to the US that your despicable acts are completely at odds with the trend of history. The world is progressing. The people and the world want solidarity not division, cooperation not confrontation, mutual benefit not zero-sum game. You are standing on the wrong side of history and the opposing side of the international community.
I would like to say to the US that your clichés are completely untrue. China’s achievements in human rights development are widely recognized and not to be denied by your lies and deception. China’s adoption of effective measures to combat terrorism, safeguard national security and promote economic and social development is firmly supported by all Chinese people and can stand the test of time and history.
I would like to say to the US that your political scheme will never succeed. Developing countries have the right to defend their sovereignty, achieve development and maintain security. It is time that you wake up to the failure of your successive attempts. Blaming others won’t solve your problems, nor hide your failures.
I would like to say to the US that blaming China cannot cover up your poor human rights records. Before accusing others, you’d better take a good look in the mirror at yourself. In fact:
It is the US that should protect the basic rights of its people. More than 200,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19. What the US government needs is treating the sick and saving lives, not spreading the political virus and making troubles everywhere.
It is the US that should eliminate racial discrimination and allow its people to breathe. There exists systematic racial discrimination and violence in the US judicial and law enforcement systems. Millions of Americans have cried out “I can’t breathe” and “Black lives matter”. The Third Committee should pay attention to racial discrimination and police violence in the US. The Committee should discuss the issue and adopt a resolution on it.
It is the US that should stop committing war crime and give peace back to the world. In its 244 years of existence, the US has not been at war for only 16 years. It is the most belligerent country in the world. It has dropped bombs and fired bullets at civilians of other countries, resulting in massive casualties, refugees and displacements. Your hands are stained with the blood of innocent civilians.
It is the US that should earnestly implement international human rights obligations. The US is practicing unilateralism and evading its own responsibilities. It has withdrawn from the Human Rights Council, refused to ratify human rights treaties, sanctioned ICC prosecutor and imposed unilateral sanctions on other countries. This has seriously disrupted international cooperation on human rights. It is time for the US to heed the world’s call for justice.
I must also point out that Germany, the UK and a few other countries, in disregard of the facts, have violated justice and undermined cooperation. Facing the poor human rights records of your own and of the US, you choose to engage in selective blindness and double standards, willingly follow the US and become its accomplices. How hypocritical! Let me say this to you: put away your arrogance and prejudice, and pull back from the brink, now.
In the 71 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, China has made a great leap forward in standing up, getting rich and becoming strong, and made real achievements in human rights.
With a people-centered approach, China has provided sufficient food and clothing for more than 1.4 billion people and lifted 850 million people out of poverty.
Giving top priority to human lives, China has adopted the most stringent and thorough epidemic prevention and control measures and achieved major victories in the fight against COVID-19.
With a holistic approach, China has issued three National Human Rights Action Plans and formed a sound legal system for human rights protection.
Upholding international fairness and justice, China opposes interference in internal affairs and speaks out for developing countries in defense of justice.
China resolutely safeguards its national sovereignty, security and development interests. Be it promoting the development of western regions such as Xinjiang, or maintaining the prosperity and stability of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is for the purposes of maintaining the rule of law, national security and the interests of the people, and is consistent with the well-established and common practice of the international community. No matter what you say or do, we will unswervingly move forward along this path.
China’s human rights path is one blazed by the Chinese people. China’s human rights progress is achieved by the Chinese people. We welcome equal-footed dialogue, but we firmly oppose interference in internal affairs, double standards and political confrontation. In the field of human rights, there is always room for improvement. China is ready to continue working with other countries in the spirit of equality, mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness to move towards the lofty ideal of “human rights for all”.