by M. Ulric Killion
Photo/What ails Sino-U.S. relations, Xinhua.
“From a political perspective, the dispute reminds us of the serious differences over human rights between China and the US. The conflict over human rights will resurface whenever a chance presents itself. The Google incident is nothing but another Sino-US conflict over human rights. But it's nothing compared to China-US disputes over human rights in the early 1990s” -- Yan Xuetong (the director of Tsinghua University’s Institute of International Studies and an expert on Sino-US ties (Xinhua, August 3, 2010)).
Since the 1989 Tiananmen Square tragedy, the United States annually presents a resolution to the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) condemning China's human rights record.
Although not joining the United States in every proposed resolution, the European Union generally concurs with the US assessment of China's human rights record.
In 2000, the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels condemned China for ""marking time' by signing international pacts, while failing to match their commitments with "tangible progress in the domestic human rights situation.'"
However, China defeats each proposed resolution for censorship with the support of third world countries. In response to the US position, China issues annually a 15,000 word governmental white paper addressing its progress in human rights.
Since the 1990s, China's Information Office of the State Council annually publishes a human rights report on the United States. An exception to the US practice of annually presenting a resolution to the UNHRC, admittedly, did occur in 2003 and 2005.
This occurs when,“Earlier in 2003, and now, in 2005, the State Department made agreements with China not to introduce a resolution at the UN Commission (UNCHR) condemning China’s human rights practices.”
Killion, Ulric, 2006. Modern Chinese Journey to the West: Economic Globalization and Dualism, 106-07, 125.
Killion, M. Ulric. 2004. Post-WTO China: Quest for Human Right Safeguards in Sexual Harassment Against Working Women, 12 Tul. J. Int'l & Comp. L. 201, (Spring).