A signed article published in Beijing on
December 22 says that some Western media and figures
accusing China of "retrogression" in human rights
know nothing about China's human rights policy.
The article written by Ren Yanshi says that
recently some media and figures in the United States and
other western countries have been whipping up opinion
against China's trial by law of Xu Wenli and others,
convicted of subversion of the government.
says that the western media's accusation that China has
"cracked down on dissidents" based on Xu's case is
obviously a distortion of China's human rights situation and
shows an ignorance of China's human rights policy.
The article says that Xu Wenli, who colluded
with hostile overseas organizations and individuals and
accepted overseas funds to engage in subversion of the
government, had violated the Criminal Law of the People's
Republic of China.
It also says that it is
quite normal for China's public security and judicial
departments to arrest and try Xu Wenli according to law,
noting that the trial is purely the internal matter of a
It is unreasonable for some
media and figures in the United States and other Western
countries to characterize China's lawful punishment of
criminals as an infringement of human rights, it says,
adding that these accusations have deliberately confused the
boundary between normal judicial actions and human rights.
The article says that dealing with crime and
protecting human rights are two aspects of one problem. In
the final analysis, dealing with crime safeguards the human
rights of the people.
On one hand, China's
Constitution and laws clearly stipulate that citizens
enjoyed the freedom of speech, assembly, association and
belief, and they are protected while exercising these
rights, it says.
On the other hand, the
Constitution also stipulates that when citizens are enjoying
their rights of freedom, they must not harm the interests of
the State, the society and the collectives, or the freedom
and rights of other citizens, the article says.
All acts against the Constitution and laws
should be punished, it says.
The article notes
that stipulations of Chinese law comply with the
"International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights" of the United Nations, which says in Article 18
to 22 that while the freedom of belief, speech, assembly and
association is enjoyed, it should also be limited according
Freedom cannot undermine State and
public security, public order, health and morality, or the
freedom and rights of others it says.
crime of using foreign funds to subvert the legitimate
Chinese government and jeopardize state security has been
well established with specific evidence, the article
It goes on to say that "it is
logical that the Chinese judiciary bring such criminals
before the law in order to protect the human rights of the
Chinese people and safeguard the dignity of the law."
In fact, such high crimes are intolerable in
any state with the rule of law and to any responsible
government, it said.
The article cites an
example from the law of the United States itself,
sarcastically noting that "the U.S. law forbids the use
of foreign money even in political campaigns, much less for
overturning the government."
It refers to
Articles 2381 to 2391 in Chapter 18 of the "Statute of
the United States," saying that harsh penalties are
prescribed for abusing the rights of freedom of expression
and association to harm national security.
According to Article 2385, it says, those who
intend to preach, instigate, persuade or expound on the
reason why the government of the United States should be
overthrown or destroyed, including by the means of printing,
publishing, releasing, passing, selling, distributing or
exhibiting any books or printed materials in public, are
subject to punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment and/or
a fine of 20,000 U.S. dollars.
explanations of many cases by federal courts, the freedom of
expression shall not obstruct the American constitution and
publications shall not viciously slander or intend to
subvert the government, the article said.
"Now, the United States does not allow
anti-government activities that harm national security, so
why are court hearings in China dealing with the same crime
dubbed a 'violation of human rights?'" the article
Some Western media or personages have
accused China of "violating human rights" because
Xu Wenli and some others are "dissidents."
It is well-known that dissidents are those who
hold political beliefs other than those of the existing
government, the article admitted.
point of view of human-rights activists, citizens should not
be punished or be prejudiced against for their political
ideas, but this does not say that dissidents should be free
from punishment even if they perpetrate crimes, the article
In China, it says that the citizen's
freedom of thought and expression are protected by law, and
those with political ideas different from those of the
government and who do not breach the penal code in deed, are
not liable to criminal prosecution.
those dissidents, just as other citizens, are entitled to
all the political and civil rights of citizenship provided
for by the Constitution and law, and are not prejudiced
against or violated by any organization or individual, it
Those who do not intentionally ignore
facts should recognize that it is very common for Chinese
citizens to hold and air their political ideas, even if they
are not consistent with those of the authorities. And many
with different political ideas or religious beliefs have
been elected deputies to the people's congresses or members
of people's political consultative conferences, the article
Xu was punished not for his political
ideas, but for his subversive crimes, and those who ignore
his crimes but accuse the Chinese judiciary of
"suppressing the dissidents" are misleading the
international community and deliberately throwing mud at
China, the article points out.
article goes on to say that no country in the world has
perfect human rights, and stresses that in order to fairly
judge a country's human-rights situation, focus should not
be only on a few people or a certain thing at a certain
time, but rather on the overall trend of development. It
must also be judged in a practical manner with an eye to
history, and this is also true of China's human rights
It says that since the founding of
New China, and especially since the reform and opening up,
the Chinese government has exerted greater efforts to
develop its economy and has stressed the construction of a
democratic and legal system which will enable the Chinese
people to better enjoy the right to subsistence and
development, as well as political, economic, social,
cultural and other rights.
The article cites
as an example the fact that China has helped more than 200
million people shake off poverty in the past two decades,
and 1.2 billion Chinese people are enjoying better material
and cultural lives.
There is no doubt, the
article notes, that the people of China are enjoying
unprecedented human rights and freedom, even though there
are still some things that need to be improved in
human-rights protection due to the restrictions of nature,
history and economic development.
says it is irresponsible and a pity that some people and
mass media organizations in the United States and other
Western countries have the desire to focus on some so-called
"individual cases," especially criminal cases
involving the subversion of state power, take them as
"evidence proving that China infringes upon human
rights," and describe China's human rights conditions
as hopeless, disregarding China's overall human-rights
conditions and realities.
continues that there are only a small number of people in
China involved in activities threatening the national
security, and points out that what some Western people and
mass media organizations are really concerned about is not
the human rights of the mass of the Chinese people, but the
"rights" of a small number of people who attempt
to overturn the Chinese government and destroy China's
If the punishment of a small number
of criminals in accordance with law is described as the
human rights conditions of the 1.2 billion Chinese people,
it is no surprise they shout that China's human rights
conditions are "going backwards" when hearing that
people like Xu Wenli were punished according to law, the
The article notes that promoting
and protecting human rights are important components and a
goal of China's reform and opening up and socialist
modernization construction. These are part of an established
policy of the Chinese government worked out in accordance
with China's realities and the basic rights and interests of
the Chinese people.
The article says the
Chinese government has stood firm in carrying out the reform
and opening policy, and the policy of promoting human
rights, over the past two decades even though faced with
national and international turmoil and political, economic
and media pressures from Western countries.
The article says that President Jiang Zemin
reiterated in his letter to the meeting marking the 50th
anniversary of the U.N. Universal Human Rights Declaration
that the Chinese government will further promote the
protection of human rights and fully guarantee people's
right to enjoy human rights, democracy and freedom according
The article stresses that there is no
doubt that China's reform and opening-up policy and
protection of human rights will not change at present or in
the future. China will, as always, improve human rights and
conduct cooperation with other countries to push forward the
healthy development of universal human rights.
The article points out that some Western media
organizations and people are ignorant of China's
human-rights policy when they say that China's reform and
opening-up policy will be "reversed" and accuse
China of "retrogression in political reform" based
on their view of the case of Xu Wenli and a few others.