By Tenzin Dharpo
HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth during a press conference in New York to release the 2020 report on Tuesday. Photo- AFP
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 15: The Chinese government sees human rights as an existential threat and its reaction could pose an existential threat to the rights of people worldwide, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in its 2020 report released Tuesday in New York.
The release of the new report comes days after HRW’s Executive Director Kenneth Roth was denied entry into Hong Kong where he was scheduled to hold a press conference to release the report. “It was clear the decision [to deny him entry] was being made someplace else, and then it became clear that it was in Beijing. The only thing they would say was that it was for ‘immigration reasons’,” Roth said.
The new report, the group’s 30th edition, said that Beijing’s campaign to undermine human rights and subvert mechanisms to counter pressure internationally is a threat to human rights everywhere. The report read, “At home, the Chinese Communist Party, worried that permitting political freedom would jeopardize its grasp on power, has constructed an Orwellian high-tech surveillance state and a sophisticated internet censorship system to monitor and suppress public criticism.
“Abroad, it uses its growing economic clout to silence critics and to carry out the most intense attack on the global system for enforcing human rights since that system began to emerge in the mid-20th century”.
The report which characterised Beijing to be “allergic” to international pressure is resorting to arm twist international governments by using its economic and diplomatic might, to build a counter weight against the backlash it attracts from relentless violations over the years.
China under President Xi Jinping has brought on more repression on the civil society and pro-democracy activists inside the country as well as persecuting minority groups including the ethnic Uyghur people and essentially created a wall of surveillance unprecedented in the world to impose its will altogether, it said. “The world should recognize that Xi Jinping’s lofty rhetoric about establishing a "community of shared future for mankind” is really a threat—a vision of rights worldwide as defined and tolerated by Beijing,” the report stated.