Anonymous asked in TravelAsia PacificChina · 10 years ago

Might it be hard for Westerners to understand Chinese "Human Rights"?

Based on historical evidence from over the past two thousand years or so, Chinese culture places a much lower value on human life than that currently found in Western civilization. As the Chinese population continues to grow, and resources begin to shrink, this cultural viewpoint is likely to maintain its influence. Thus, China could easily commit a few million troops to overrun any area it might choose, without regard to loss of life. Likewise, the CCP can eliminate any dissidents seeking to "modernize" the culture (as in "globalization"), with little repercussions. And, widespread deaths in coal mines and industrial accidents, or from short-cutting quality control (e.g. the powered milk and lead painted toys scandals) are seen as common business practices with acceptable losses of human life.

Might this cultural factor (disregard for Human Rights, as well as the environment) be so contrary to the viewpoints embedded in Western cultures that it could generate misjudgments during political/economic negotiations?

Do you know of any other examples where this has recently occurred?

Might it be totally unreasonable for Western countries to expect ANY progress in the area of Human Rights and environmental issues, so long as China continues to have such an immense and expendable population, and extremely little motivation to head in that direction?


CHN - Thorough response, thanks.

Patrick - I can understand Traditional Mandarin. However, you type in the bastardized form of Chinese created by the CCP. 很遺憾,您無法讀取真實中國.

Update 2:

Sailor - You refer to a simple question as being "silly." I'm not sure why you didn't understand the question. Individual perceptions of the world and one's values vary according to cultural upbringing. I was inquiring as to whether Chinese culture/history is so diametrically opposed to Western culture/history in regards to the value of human life, that it might lead to great misunderstandings during attempts to mutually improve the environment (such as curtailing the use of coal-fired power plants) and settle issues of human rights (such as invoking due process of law).

11 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are alot of answers out there, but most of them misses the bulleye.

    I will put it in simple terms for you.

    1) China gives you all the rights you want, BUT if you commit a crime or voices against the communist party. Everything will be stripped from you including your rights. NO one will even know you disappeared, because China controls the media! Simple as that.

    2) The industrial accidents, quality control etc you mentioned? That has nothing to do with human life. Its called they don't give a crap. BECAUSE they are only concerned about themselves.

    You should know the standard of education in China is low.

    Simple things like don't throw cigs out the balcony once u are done with them, sort out the trashes and of course respect others.

    These are things the older generations in china don't know.

    3) The difference between Chinese cultural and western culture would NOT generate misjudgement for negotiations. Top negotiators would have a fairly good idea about the people they are dealing with including their culture.

    Negotiations don't workout because its matter of who gets the most benefit.

    Take the Value of yuan for example. Chinese say of course their yuan is not artificially undervalued because they gives them an edge in selling their products because they are sooo dam cheap!

    They are stealing everyones jobs in every country.

    They know it, but they deny it because they want to maintain the competitive advantages.

    4) Yes it is unreasonble for western countries to expect China to do anything about human rights, because IF all the people in china has freedom of speech and critize everything then the Communist party will cripple.

    You underestand is not China doesn't want to go in that direction, its because Human rights and environmental issues are BARRIERS for the Government to take full control and rise to super power.

    Look at China now.. if they agree to tackle the environmental issue, that will pose more of a problem for everone to adapt rather than help with the businesses in china to push out the product.

    They know how to play politics and maintance TWO FACED, Say one thing, do another.

    If international MEDIA critize them, they will always say " You are accusing us on groundless means, without any evidence, therefore you are hurting US- China relationship"

    How many times have u heard them say that. They don't admit that they are wrong, when they do the wrong things like HACKING GOGGLE.

    Because that makes them Loose FACE.

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  • 10 years ago

    This has to be one of the silliest questions I have read. It starts off asking about "Human Rights" but then it immediately starts rambling about "Chinese Rights". Then it goes into discussion of resources, military conflicts and political/economic negotiations. Then finally ask "Might it be totally unreasonable for western countries to expect any progress in the area of Human Rights" and then rambles on about some other excuses involving the environment, population and the direction of the Chinese political party. I am sorry, I was wrong to say this is silly. This is just not thinking of the questions meaning. It says based on historical evidence from the past two thousand years or so. Wait! Time out! Human Rights are the rights the world sees as belonging to all humans. Not the west, the east, the north or south. All human rights have changed all over the world for the past two thousand years. Two hundred years ago slavery was accepted but not today. Human Rights are not something the political party of China or the US decides, it is what the rest of the world decides. You ask about Human Rights but then only want to talk about the Chinese communist idea of Chinese Rights. These rights you are talking about are "Human" not Chinese. These are rights Human Beings are born with not rights that some communist party give them. Some other answer said something about the Chinese language. This does not decide what "Human Rights"are. The people in Africa do not speak English or Chinese but they have Human Rights just as you and I do. You ask one question about Human Rights and then try to make it a political right for the communist. The question was about Human Rights not Political Rights.

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  • 10 years ago

    Human rights is always an interesting thing. Governments are always likely to push the view that "human rights" are not part of their culture.

    In China the average person believes in their own rights, but does not believe in the rights of others.

    The core concept in human rights is not what they are, but the idea that we can extend them to other people rather than claim them for ourselves.

    China is in fact making great progress in terms of human rights. You are right, there is no culture of rule of law, punishment fits the crime and so on. For example, traditionally most punishments in China could result in death. For example, if you are put in prison, if you didn't have friends or family to bring you food, you would starve to death. Same with beatings. A beating would result in broken limbs. If there was no one to look after you, then you would die.

    Laws are slowly changing, the middle class is growing and want more rights. To get these rights they will need to learn to extend them to other people.

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  • 4 years ago

    the relationship between development (ontogeny) and evolution (phylogeny) is perhaps a tiny bit more murky than you suggest. development has a much more certain outcome due to pre-existing genetic material and surrounding environment, which are more or less constant between individuals. whereas evolution differs from development both in its starting point (does anyone really think that the "primordial soup" had cells in it?) and in its products (human embryos never grow into trees). i think i could hardly blame christians (or anyone) for being skeptical of evolution if this was all there was to support it, because it offers no account of why evolution followed the course(s) it did, and in fact suggests spurious explanations. probably i'm just being nitpicky. i think this works a reply to the idea that we should consider development from a single cell "impossible". one might also point out that evolution, while being less constrained, took a lot longer.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Understanding a country has little to do with learning its language. Can you understand Saudi Arabia without speaking Arabic? Of course you can - if you access to a free press. Even if Chinese people understood English (and very few do) they would know little or nothing of the west because of their heavily censored media. Chinese students who have managed to get foreign news sources complain that they know nothing of the countries they hear because China gives them alien names: e.g. Meiguo for America, Riben for Japan, Aodaliya for Australia.

    The average Chinese knows virtually nothing of the west, while westerners are well-informed about China through international and multiple news sources which are denied to Chinese people.

    It is best to not mistake fifty-cent spin doctors for your average Chinese. They are not.

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  • 10 years ago

    I lived in China and the outside world has no idea how bad it is in China. They as you say, have no regard for human life and corruption runs ramped. They have a one child policy and for good reason but the people that Police this Policy have done things you wont believe. Example in Dabu a young girl never married was baby sitting three childern for friends and they took her to the hospital and forced her to have a tubal ligation thinking the childern were hers. And forced abortion is common. No it wont change in China and the next threat will be ti Tawain Mainland China wants it to be part of the Mainland and for obvious reasons they say NO.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The People’s Republic of China, with a population of approximately 1.3 billion, is an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) constitutionally is the paramount source of power. Party members hold almost all top government, police, and military positions. Ultimate authority rests with the 25-member political bureau (Politburo) of the CCP and its nine-member standing committee. Hu Jintao holds the three most powerful positions as CCP general secretary, president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Civilian authorities generally maintained effective control of the security forces.

    The government’s human rights record remained poor and worsened in some areas. During the year the government increased its severe cultural and religious repression of ethnic minorities in Tibetan areas and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), increased detention and harassment of dissidents and petitioners, and maintained tight controls on freedom of speech and the Internet. Abuses peaked around high-profile events, such as the Olympics and the unrest in Tibet. As in previous years, citizens did not have the right to change their government. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), both local and international, continued to face intense scrutiny and restrictions. Other serious human rights abuses included extrajudicial killings, torture and coerced confessions of prisoners, and the use of forced labor, including prison labor. Workers cannot choose an independent union to represent them in the workplace, and the law does not protect workers’ right to strike.

    The government continued to monitor, harass, detain, arrest, and imprison journalists, writers, activists, and defense lawyers and their families, many of whom were seeking to exercise their rights under the law. A lack of due process and restrictions on lawyers further limited progress toward rule of law, with serious consequences for defendants who were imprisoned or executed following proceedings that fell far short of international standards. The party and state exercised strict political control of courts and judges, conducted closed trials, and carried out administrative detention. Individuals and groups, especially those deemed politically sensitive by the government, continued to face tight restrictions on their freedom to assemble, their freedom to practice religion, and their freedom to travel. The government continued its coercive birth limitation policy, in some cases resulting in forced abortion or forced sterilization. The government failed to protect refugees adequately, and the detention and forced repatriation of North Koreans continued to be a problem. Serious social conditions that affected human rights included endemic corruption, trafficking in persons, and discrimination against women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.

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  • Honestly no Chinese person will take you seriously. You can mutter about how bad things can get in China but as long as their is one flase arrest in the USA they will moan like mad it.

    Trying to get the Chinese to admit they wrong or something is flase is like trying to get blood out of a stone. As long as the abuse of Human rights is in the CCP's favour when it will happen.

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  • 10 years ago

    "Might this cultural factor (disregard for Human Rights, as well as the environment) be so contrary to the viewpoints embedded in Western cultures that it could generate misjudgments during political/economic negotiations?"

    There is short points of Human rights in China of course.

    But Do you think so called human rights is a political tools by western government, like global warming------because Chinese eat more meat than before?

    few western people know China, but more chinese know western contries.

    as i can speak English, so i can see and think from your view,

    but can you read and speak Chinese?所以你无法了解我们 please try learning more on our culture and history.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Your racist comments are a reflection of your culture's deficiencies. Fabricating stories to insult foreign people may amuse you, but you should look at the history of your own nation for clues about who does and doesn't value life.

    Your arrogant remark suggests that you are either an American or an American lap dog (British). The politicians and media of your home country blame China, India, Brazil, and the rest of the developing world for your home-made problems. It is easier to blame foreigners for your nation's problems than to put responsibility for domestic failures where it belongs. Western politicians and media love to stir up hatred of foreigners. Those who join in the hatred are brainwashed pawns in an American lie.

    Go ahead and say all of the nasty things you want to about foreigners, as it tells the world what level person you are. No one takes such openly biased propaganda seriously.

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