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Human rights with Chinese characteristics PowerPoint Presentation
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Human rights with Chinese characteristics

Human rights with Chinese characteristics

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Human rights with Chinese characteristics

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  1. Human rights with Chinese characteristics • Socialist democratic politics • Under construction • “promoting democracy and strengthening the legal system” • “transparency” • Party leadership • People being masters of the country • Rule of law • 10 year plan?

  2. Human rights with Chinese characteristics • Report: • Rights to subsistence and development • Civil and political rights • “Special rights” for minorities

  3. Human rights with Chinese characteristics • Reality: • “inconvenient timing” of 2004 OECD workers’ rights meeting in Beijing • 300 prisons, 300,000 prisoners in labor re-education camps outside legal system (NY Times, 5/9/05) • Labor unrest: workers in wildcat walkouts, protests • Rural unrest: 80,000 protests in 2005 • Rise of NGO’s, civic consciousness

  4. Ethnicity in China • Han are the largest group: 91% • 55 official “minority nationalities” • Gladney: “a multicultural and ethnically diverse nation state” (6) • Not usually understood that way • but even Han identity “multicultural” • Politics of diversity on the rise in 21st century China

  5. Official nationalities (minzu) • Promises made during Long March • “special rights” for recognized minorities • Seats set aside in NPC and Standing Committee of NPC • Autonomous regions: self-government in local affairs • Cultural programs, education, tourism, Western Development • Groups still clamoring for recognition

  6. Nationality criteria • Based on Stalin’s concept of “nationality” • The “four commons”: • Language • Territory • Economic life • Culture • In principle, rights include secession

  7. Han • A unifying concept, often associated with “Chinese” • But Gladney clearly sees the identity as a social construct, especially in its political sense as a “nationality” (Han minzu) • Sun Yat-sen a major promoter of this • need for nationalism for Republic • “Five Peoples”: Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Hui (included all Moslems)

  8. Tibet • China claims rule over Tibet since Yuan Dynasty of Mongols (about 700 years) • Some Tibetans claim long history of independence • CPC claims to have freed Tibetans from feudal theocracy, serfdom • Dalai Lama associated with 1959 uprising • Panchen Lama cooperates with Beijing

  9. Hui • “Chinese Muslims” • Descendants of Moslem traders • Found throughout China • Autonomous region in Ningxia • No specific language; identity based mostly on lineage, increasingly on religion

  10. Uyghur • Far west, Xinjiang • Tarim Basin • Taklimakan desert: “if you go in, you won’t come out” • Turkish peoples inhabiting oases • “Uyghur” a relatively new unified identity • Nine nomadic tribes united against Turkish Khanate in 742 CE • That sense of unity apparently lost for 500 years, disintegrated to oasis groups • Current use of Uyghur re-constructed through interaction with Chinese state (Gladney) • Separatist movement influenced by Al Qaeda type extremism, Afghanistan wars

  11. “Disuniting China” (Gladney) • “deep-seated fears” of ancient divisions, return of warlord days (Gladney: 27) • Postmodernism sees world no longer unified by the “narrative” of modernity • All the more reason for central control of CPC and “harmonious society”

  12. “Disincentives for Democratic Change” (Wright) • Contrary to Western expectations, liberal democracy has not followed capitalist development • Rising protests, but diminished challenge to CPC or interest in liberal democracy • Both winners and losers of economic reform have a stake in the political status quo