Human rights excuse for neo-colonialism
Posted on May 3rd, 2012

(China Daily 04/21/2011 page9)

Editor’s note: The human rights issue is being used by a handful of countries as a pretext and tool to pursue selfish interests, demonize the image of other countries and intervene in their internal affairs, a Beijing Daily commentary said on April 15. The following are excerpts:

The US State Department published on April 8 an annual report on other countries’ human rights, lashing out at human rights conditions in more than 190 countries and regions. As expected, the unpopular report has once again evoked unanimous rebuttals and criticism from the targeted countries, including China.

The next day a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry warned the United States not to behave as a self-proclaimed human rights judge and said it should reflect on its own human rights conditions. The Information Office of China’s State Council also published a white paper two days later on US human rights practices in 2010, urging Washington to face up to its own human rights issues.

The US has published annual reports on human rights practices in other countries since 1977 and has been accustomed to, and is intent on, behaving as a “judge”. However, Washington has received a cold shoulder from countries worldwide, because of its own human rights violations and its double standard on human rights issues.

The US has never hesitated to point the finger at other countries’ human rights and to advocate that “human rights are superior to sovereignty” when it serves its own interests. But the US has refused to sign some of the major United Nations human rights covenants. On March 18, the UN Human Rights Council made 228 proposals for the US to improve its own human rights conditions, including urging Washington to ratify some key international human rights treaties, improving the rights for minorities and reducing racial discrimination. However, the US refused most of these proposals on the grounds that its human rights allow no intervention from the outside.

The double standard embraced by the US testify to the fact that human rights are being used by some countries as a tool to interfere with others’ internal affairs and the idea that “human rights stand higher than sovereignty” has become a political slogan for some to justify their hegemonic activities.

Until the outbreak of World War II, Western countries were still enmeshed in their history of colonialism, racial discrimination and outside aggression. The widespread national liberation and democratic movements across the world following the end of World War II quickly resulted in the collapse of the West’s long-held moral excuses that were used to justify their past crimes and “use of force” and it turned to concepts, such as “humanitarian intervention” and “human rights are superior to sovereignty”, as the main means to regain their lost moral dominance and maintain their dwindling domain of influence throughout the world.

By using abstract terms and their own criteria to define the concept of human rights, Western countries have attempted to completely separate human rights from sovereignty and then cause conflicts in specific countries and regions from which they can benefit and achieve their own political purposes.

Human rights in individual countries can only be realized and protected in a sovereign country, when there are still strong and weak countries and when hegemonic activities and power politics still prevail.

A country belongs to all its people and the country’s sovereignty is the concentrated embodiment of its collective human rights. The existence of sovereign nations constitutes the foundation of the current international society and under this precondition human rights conditions worldwide have made continuous advancements.

In the absence of sovereignty, a country will have no ability and means to protect the human rights of its people. From Kosovo to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, under the pretext of “human rights being superior to sovereignty”, Western countries have chosen to use guns and bombs against the governments of these countries to realize their own ulterior motives. But the use of force has failed to bring the people in these countries improved human rights, on the contrary it has plunged them deep into humanitarian disasters and cost many their lives.

Protecting human rights is a universal pursuit of people of all countries across the world. But if this issue is rigged by a handful of countries as the excuse to interfere with other countries’ internal affairs, the human rights of these countries and their people are ignored.

Military interventions under the guise of moral slogans are in essence a kind of neo-colonialism.

2 Responses to “Human rights excuse for neo-colonialism”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    China should take a more aggressive approach to defend its sovereignty. It is China’s duty to look after her human rights. What needs to be seen is that the human rights situation in China is improving and not getting worse. On the other hand the advice and sayings of United States which does not submit itself to scrutiny by others should be ignored. Americans are ‘fed’ with propaganda to make them believe that it is the best country in the world when the truth is not so salubrious. The day when the Americans themselves will revolt is not far away. “Occupy Wall Street” is just the beginning and in the end it could be just as violent as their Civil War!

    It is the biggest violator of human rights within the United States and as well as outside. The same truth goes for the other Western Christian nations – Britain, France, Germany and others.

    It is now up to the International Community – which is those countries other than theWestern Countries to stand together and say enough is enough and not allow the USA and her cronies to destabilize the world. China and Russia must give leadership to this move in a more constructive manner. If not Western Christian coalition will destroy countries from within as has now been done in Libya, Egypt and Syria.

  2. Voice123 Says:

    Ratnapala, agree with most of what you say, but cut out the simplistic religious slogans. There is little genuine Christianity (as opposed to the new warmongering sytle Zionist-Christianity of the neocons) in the West today. They are more accurately referred to as Western hedonist, consumerist, corporatist, sexually permissive and homosexuality promoting, white race supremacist countries. Their present day values have little to do with any religion or spirituality. Genuine Christians (or any religious person) who often want to follow their religious beliefs and ethics are often ridiculed in the West and told not to be “silly” or “weak”, just as much as third world governments and non-white peoples are often treated as inferior by the West.

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