How China strives to improve global human rights governance for a better world

By Xinhua
On 15 June 2023 at 02:53

China is ready to work with the rest of the world to act on the principles enshrined in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, push for greater fairness, justice, reason, and inclusiveness in global human rights governance, and promote the development of a human community with a shared future.

What Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote in his congratulatory letter to the Forum on Global Human Rights Governance that opened in Beijing on Wednesday spoke again of the importance China has attached to the global human rights cause.

For decades, China has been committed to raising the well-being of its people while improving global human rights governance, both of which are highly acclaimed by the international community.


Villagers of Daliang Mountain in Sichuan Province, southwestern China, endured a life of poverty six years ago, grappling with an unstable power supply and a lack of essential electrical appliances.

But things have changed. Now the road to the village has been rebuilt, and impoverished villagers have been relocated to newly built houses equipped with electric cookers and washing machines.

"It is such a tremendous change. I would never have dreamed of it," rejoiced Boli Muqie, a villager in the mountainous area.

The breathtaking transformation is possible because of China’s poverty alleviation work, which eliminated absolute poverty by February 2021. It has lifted more than 700 million of its people out of poverty over the past 40-plus years of reform and opening up, significantly contributing to the cause of human rights worldwide.

Apart from that, China has established the world’s largest systems of education, social security and healthcare, ensuring that its population’s basic needs are met. It also promoted equal rights and special protection for specific groups, including ethnic minorities, women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

One of the best examples can be found in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where ethnic groups have adequate access to education, healthcare and cultural events.

Rural schools here, refurbished and with improved teaching, have helped many students gain admission to higher education, said Sanam Ibrayim, a teacher at a rural school in Xinjiang.

In the eyes of many, China’s people-centered advancement is a significant human rights feat, setting a new benchmark.

Former Prime Minister of Guyana Moses Nagamootoo said China’s concept of people-centered human rights could be illuminating to other countries.

Leonardo Santos Simao, former foreign minister of Mozambique, said China has ensured its people’s political, economic, social and cultural rights during its development.


"Thanks to a good production in rice obtained due to a training session on varieties of Chinese rice in general and hybrid rice in particular, members of our cooperative are enjoying socially and economically," said Emmanuel Nizigiyimana, a Burundian in his 30s.

Nizigiyimana, chairman of a cooperative based in Burundi’s Bubanza Province, was one of the students receiving training in rice farming under the leadership of a Chinese rice farming expert named Yang Huade.

The production that was less than four tonnes with the local rice variety per hectare has now been increased to nine to 10 tonnes per hectare with the Chinese rice, Nizigiyimana said. "The Chinese rice varieties are also resistant to diseases contrary to local varieties."

The training has provided valuable insight into the impact of China’s initiatives dedicated to protecting and promoting the right to live and develop. These efforts have been instrumental in improving the well-being of people in countries across the globe.

Take the Belt and Road Initiative. Proposed by China in 2013, it has generated nearly 1 trillion U.S. dollars in investment, created some 420,000 jobs worldwide, and helped lift nearly 40 million people out of poverty in a decade. A World Bank report said the initiative could boost trade by 2.8 to 9.7 percent for participating countries and by 1.7 to 6.2 percent for the whole world.

Furthermore, the Global Development Initiative (GDI) put forward by China in September 2021 has gained support from more than 100 countries and several international organizations, including the United Nations. Nearly 70 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the initiative. In April last year, China proposed another initiative, the Global Security Initiative, to promote common security.

China said it would work hard to contribute its wisdom and solutions to the cause of peace and development for all humanity. In this regard, China practices what it preaches, said Keith Bennett, a long-term China specialist and vice chair of Britain’s 48 Group Club.

Bennett said that China can put forward proposals, mechanisms and solutions that have global appeal.


In early November 2017, the Committee of Disarmament and International Security of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly approved two draft resolutions on preventing an arms race in outer space. Both incorporated for the first time the phrase "building a community of shared future for mankind."

Since then, the vision put forward by China has been written into more UN resolutions and has become an essential component of the global human rights discourse.

Based on this vision, China has cultivated an outlook on human rights with "people" as the center, "development" as the driving force and "a life of contentment" as the goal through continuous progress, enriching the global human rights cause.

China conforms to a people-centered approach, which envisions a "global five-in-one" comprising "politics, security, economy, culture and ecology," said Maria Francesca Staiano, director of the Center on China Studies of the International Relations Institute of the National University of La Plata.

"They are key points of the UN human rights protections, which are in line with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and human rights," she said.

True. To promote common development for advancing universal human rights, China put forward the GDI, advocating action-oriented approaches that address developing countries’ most pressing livelihood needs. It has also called for upholding genuine multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations to promote and protect human rights through dialogue and cooperation.

Meanwhile, recognizing the importance of inclusiveness, China proposed the Global Civilization Initiative in mid-March, urging the international community to respect the diversity of civilizations and the different paths of human rights development.

Saikat Bhattacharya, an assistant professor at New Integrated Public University in India, said building a community with a shared future for humanity champions the equality of countries regardless of their size. It strengthens state-to-state relations and promotes living with dignity.

"The international community needs the contribution of China in global human rights governance," said Micol Savia, permanent representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to the United Nations in Geneva.

China, a country with long history and culture, is a significant player in international relations, she added.