China’s human rights path is people-oriented

President Xi Jinping holds a meeting with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet via video link in Beijing, capital of China, May 25, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

In her statement on Saturday, at the end of her official visit to China over the previous six days, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet came straight to the point, saying her visit was not an "investigation", but an opportunity to promote exchanges and interactions. Indeed, the concerns that she did raise over China's human rights conditions-some of which are common challenges confronting countries-are the fields in which the two sides will make joint efforts to work on in a "meaningful and impactful" way.

As well as speaking with President Xi Jinping by video link during her tour, the human rights chief of the United Nations visited Kashgar prison and the Kashgar Experimental School, a former Vocational Education and Training Centre, among other places, in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and interacted with civil society organizations, academics, and community and religious leaders and others inside and outside the country as well.

Her trip and statement have been criticized by those heavily invested in smearing China on its human rights practices as she never once mentioned "genocide"-a crime these smearers have been keen to pin on China for its policies in Xinjiang-and has neither substantiated their claims, nor voiced any official concerns about China's human rights conditions. Indeed, she did the opposite by acknowledging China's achievements in human rights protection, and vowing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the future to make it better.

No wonder some rights groups on the payroll of Washington scolded the UN human rights chief immediately after she made the statement.

Their heartfelt disappointment will no doubt be reflected in a statement issued by the US State Department or some agency or another decrying the UN human rights chief being hoodwinked and calling for a US-led probe into the issue. A trick the US has played many a time whenever an international organization has failed to support one of its China-is-bad claims after a visit to the country, with the World Health Organization's COVID-19 research in China being an obvious recent example.

China has always put people first in its development, with nearly 20 percent of world population it accounts for 0.08 percent of the COVID-19 deaths worldwide in contrast with the US that accounts for about 17 percent of COVID-19 death with less than 4 percent of world population, and its achievements in poverty reduction, gender equity and introduction of universal healthcare and almost universal unemployment insurance scheme are important contributions it has made to the world's human rights cause.

History proves that the human rights development path China has taken fits the country's actual conditions and is effective in improving the lives of its people. The remarkable development achievement of China belies the fallacy of the China-bashers' attempt to smear the country's human rights cause, which is nothing but part of their China containment strategy.