Saturday, January 25, 2020
Home OP-ED Columns & Articles Western NGOs seek attention through China bashing

Western NGOs seek attention through China bashing

Kenneth Roth, executive director of the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), said Sunday on Twitter he was denied entry into Hong Kong where he was scheduled to release the organization’s annual world report. Taking advantage of his entry refusal, Roth launched a barrage of criticism on China on Twitter and through his organization’s statement. This has attracted extensive media coverage and also brought the HRW’s forthcoming report with a focus on China’s “intensifying assault” on human rights into the spotlight. Roth is deliberately making an issue to seek media attention. With China’s rise and its growing influence, Chinarelated topics have increasingly been exploited by many Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists and politicians to promote themselves. On the same day, Prague mayor Zdenek Hrib condemned China as an “unreliable partner” and told a German newspaper his city will sign a twinning agreement with Taipei. It’s widely believed he is using China bashing to score political points. Roth should have known that he and his organization are unwelcome in China. The HRW has long denied China’s progress in improving human rights. China-related reports and statements released by the group are full of prejudice, distorted facts and hostility toward China. The organization, although claiming to be nonprofit and independent, played a disgraceful role in meddling in Hong Kong affairs. In December, China announced it would impose sanctions on US non-governmental organizations, including HRW and the National Endowment for Democracy, for their “egregious role” in Hong Kong, where they “supported anti-China plotters… aiding and abetting them in extreme violent criminal acts.” Responding to a question on Roth’s refusal of entry, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday that NGOs responsible for political unrest in Hong Kong should “pay the proper price.” It needs to be particularly pointed out that China doesn’t need those Western NGOs, activists or political figures to teach it how to improve human rights or democracy. China-bashing is an effective tactic for them to draw attention and expand influence. Western NGOs and politicians didn’t pay as much attention before as they do to China now. Their growing interests in the country are driven by China’s rise. What they really care about is not China’s human rights or democratic development but their own interests. China doesn’t have to take their “shows” seriously. We should continue our practices in improving our human rights condition. In view of Western discourse offensive toward China, it seems that China has been undergoing a very tough time, during which it could easily become a target. It’s a normal phenomenon and a period that China must go through, because the country has developed and progressed in every aspect, including human rights development, in a way different from the Western model. Facts and history will eventually prove China is on the right path of human rights development. Western NGOs will gain nothing from their accusations and smear campaign of China in the long run.

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