Human Rights in Eastern Civilisations
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Human Rights in Eastern Civilisations

Some Reflections of a Former UN Special Rapporteur

Surya P. Subedi

Based on the author's first-hand experience as a UN Special Rapporteur, this thought-provoking and original book examines the values of Eastern civilisations and their contribution to the development of the UN Human Rights agenda. Rejecting the argument based on “Asian Values” that is often used to undermine the universality of human rights, the book argues that secularism, personal liberty and universalism are at the heart of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
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Chapter 4: Chinas approach to human rights and the UN human rights agenda

Surya P. Subedi

Abstract

Referring to an apprehension in the democratic world about the possible impact of the economic rise of China on the UN human rights agenda and a concern expressed in certain quarters that the economic rise of China may result in an eventual restructuring of the global political order and institutions in favour of China, a Communist State, this chapter examines China’s approach to human rights both within and outside of the UN and whether China’s rise as a major economic power poses a threat or offers an opportunity to the international human rights system led by the UN. In doing so, it considers how China is changing in terms of its approach to the rule of law, democracy and human rights and why it needs to become a willing and enthusiastic player within the UN system to promote and protect human rights. The chapter concludes that the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation that the Communist party leaders have promised to the Chinese people can only come about by ushering the country towards democracy, the rule of law and greater respect for human rights.

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