Sunday, 6 May 2012


The Huffington Post has recently reported on US Secretary of State, (and the all-round awesome) Hilary Clinton, pressing China to improve their human rights programme. 

This is obviously a very important thing. China has one of the worst cases of human rights abuses in the world:
  •  China carries out the death penalty on more people than the rest of the world put together.
  • Torture is still commonplace in China's detention centres despite it being banned in 1996.
  • Religious groups such as the Fallun Gong are banned.
  • Sights such as Facebook, Google and Twitter and believe it or not, even this blog site provider can't be seen in China. 
  • Each set of parents are only allowed one child each and forced abortions for second pregnancies are very common. 

These five examples, are only a tiny snapshot of the human rights abuse cases carried out by China. The problem is, that despite Hilz Clinton's important pressures on China to improve its treatment of just about everyone, China is now so powerful that it can basically do what it wants. There isn't much that any country can really do about it, without taking real action (and we aren't talking about military action). Despite this, the same countries (like the US and the UK), who would readily criticise China's human rights, don't seem to care enough to do anything really about it. For example, America has $48,000,000,000 worth of investments in China and although Hilz and other important American's do pressurise China (to stop hating on all the people) there is no sign of the breaking of trade relations.

This is the biggest problem it seems. Countries view economics and trade as something completely separate to human rights. This example of the US and China, is just one instance where a country will criticise another's human rights records in one speech, but then arrange billions of dollars worth of trade in another. It seems to us (and we are absolutely not experts on trade) but there needs to be a unification of a countries ideals. It seems it is very hard for a country to be completely capitalist, as well as completely liberal. The ideals just don't seem to add up. This is a massive problem for the advancement of human rights at government level, and it shouldn't stop us caring and taking action. This then allows the 'abuser' state to continue to make excuses and to not really bother to make a change. 

Obviously trade is extremely important, but why have we built a world that values money, over the life of a person?

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