China: ‘American-Style Human Rights’ Stoke Hatred

Chinese troops march during a military parade in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on October 1,
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece People’s Daily editorialized on Wednesday that America’s concept of human rights is “sowing seeds of hatred” around the world because the U.S. hypocritically uses diplomatic pressure, sanctions, and military interventions to impose its vision of human rights on other countries while failing to live up to those standards itself.

The editorial was built upon China’s new favorite geopolitical narrative, namely that Chinese representatives humiliated U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and the rest of the Biden State Department at a recent meeting in Alaska. Chinese officials hammered Blinken by repeating the Democrat Party’s own criticisms of cruel, selfish, racist America, leaving Blinken unable to respond without disputing his own party’s dogma.

To that end, the People’s Daily quoted Syria – one of the most savagely oppressive regimes on Earth –  telling the U.N. Human Rights Council last week that America is “not qualified to label itself as a country that upholds the rule of law, because it evaded its obligations under international law and sought excuses for its military aggression and threats to the unity and territorial integrity of other countries.”

The Chinese editorial blamed “American-style human rights” for reducing Syria to “a source of refugees,” blamed the United States for placing “human rights above sovereignty” by toppling the Libyan dictatorship during the Obama administration, and launching a long, bloody civil war. The editorial board also complained about decades of interventions allegedly launched to force arbitrary American human rights on the rest of the world:

Since 2001, the U.S. has illegally launched wars and military operations against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan, creating “human rights disasters” and threatening world peace and stability. The U.S. has been trumpeting itself as a protector of human rights, but who and what kind of rights are they protecting?

The beacon of human rights, as the U.S. likes to label itself, has spared no effort to politicize human rights issues over the years, which not only runs counter to the original intention of human rights protection, but also stokes hatred.

It is hard to forget that in 1999, under the banner of “human rights protection”, NATO, led by the U.S., launched a bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for 78 consecutive days. It is an unforgettable source of pain and an indelible debt of blood.

“Under the guise of so-called ‘human rights protection,’ the U.S. has exported democracy through force, which has led to the decline of people’s livelihoods, social crisis, and human rights tragedies in other countries, sowing seeds of hatred around the world,” the People’s Daily pontificated, predicting these seeds would threaten world peace for generations to come.

The implication is that China’s contrasting combination of ruthless national self-interest and absolute zero interest in human rights is more conducive to international harmony.

China markets its authoritarian system and president-for-life ruler Xi Jinping as more stable and predictable than erratic democracies, where the government is – at least nominally – subject to the shifting passions of voters. It also offers its client states protection from human rights criticism, presenting this as unflappable respect for their national sovereignty, as was recently in evidence with this week’s China-Iran deal.

Western strategists should not doubt this is an appealing sales pitch to authoritarian rulers, and authoritarianism is most definitely on the rise around the world, especially after China’s coronavirus pandemic.


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