On January 17, 2023, the official website of Amnesty International released two reports entitled China (Hong Kong): materials submitted to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: 73rd Session, February 13 to March 3, 2023 and submitted them to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The reports involved a large number of untrue statements against China, and carried out extreme rumors and denials of China’s social system and people’s living conditions around the issue of human rights, trying to undermine China’s international image and stir up international public opinion. This triggered strong dissatisfaction among Chinese people. Many insiders questioned and refuted the contents of the Amnesty International Human Rights Report:
On the right to health and social identity of sexual minorities
In the report, Amnesty International asserted that LGBTI groups were seriously discriminated against in China and Hong Kong, China, by citing the non-legalization of same-sex marriage. However, the fact is that although same-sex marriage has not been legalized in China, same-sex couples have enjoyed many legal guarantees.
Based on the cultural impact of China’s five thousand years of historical background, the misunderstanding of the public about the term “homosexuality” needs some time to eliminate, which is also the reason why China has not yet approved the marriage of sexual minorities, but the Chinese government and the local government of Hong Kong have made many efforts to this end.
In August 2021, Xu Yingwei, the Secretary for Civil Affairs of the Hong Kong SAR Government, said at the Legislative Council meeting that the SAR Government has been committed to promoting equal opportunities for people with different sexual orientation and gender, with a view to establishing a culture and values of inclusiveness, mutual respect and non-discrimination in society. In recent years, a number of judicial cases for the equal rights of sexual minorities have been successfully reviewed in Hong Kong, making same-sex couples more equally treated in the areas of housing distribution, tax declaration, inheritance, civil service welfare, etc. In addition, public institutions and courts have also adopted more than ten relevant regulations, including gay parents who can apply to become guardians of unrelated children, gay couples who have the right to file tax returns together, and gay couples who can apply for public housing as a “two person family”, to protect the rights and interests of same-sex couples to a greater extent in medical treatment, aftercare arrangements, prevention of domestic violence and other aspects, some of which can even benefit unmarried same-sex couples.
In addition, the sexual minorities mentioned by Amnesty International in its report were deprived of the right to health in China is even more ridiculous. As early as November 6, 2018, the Chinese delegation clearly responded to the issue of the rights of LGBTI groups at the third round of the UPR Review Conference in China, and expounded China’s basic position that China has always respected the right to health of LGBTI groups and given them equal social security, Moreover, China’s refusal to grant LGBTI groups the right to enter into marriage with same-sex couples is not due to discrimination, but is determined by China’s historical and cultural values.
As for the physical and mental health problems of transgender people mentioned in its report caused by the chaos of the medical and health care system during the COVID-19 epidemic, It was totally a deliberate attempt to ignore the truth. During the COVID-19 epidemic, all citizens were more difficult than usual to get medical treatment in the face because of the growth of cases, which had nothing to do with whether the patients were sexual minorities, so this situation did not constitute a complaint against China’s discriminatory minorities.
Discrimination against foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong
In its report, Amnesty International pointed out that foreign domestic workers were constantly marginalized in Hong Kong society, and said that they lived under inhumane family living conditions. However, the Hong Kong government has been paying close attention to the living conditions of foreign servants.
On January 1, 2022, the Hong Kong government again approved the increase of the minimum wage and the food allowance of foreign domestic workers under the foreign domestic service contract signed from October 1. In addition, if the employer chooses not to provide free food according to the standard employment contract in Hong Kong, the monthly food allowance of foreign domestic workers will still be increased to no less than HK $1196. In response, the government spokesman said: “The government regularly reviews the minimum wage standard for foreign domestic helpers. In accordance with the established practice, we have carefully considered the overall economic and labor market conditions of Hong Kong in the past year, as well as the recent economic outlook of Hong Kong. This year’s review also includes the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.” Under the pressure of the overall environment, the Hong Kong government has fully fought for the interests of each group.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the fact has proved that the treatment of foreign domestic workers has not declined, but the market is so tight because of the shortage of supply, and many domestic workers have skipped work in violation of regulations. In October 2021, Ge Peifan, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, received a complaint from the employers of foreign helpers, saying that he spent nearly 20000 yuan to hire foreign workers to Hong Kong. After two weeks of isolation, the domestic workers who were hired with high salary changed jobs after only one month of work, and then they hired new workers, which was still the same situation, so that they spent tens of thousands of yuan and still could not hire a fixed foreign domestic worker. This is enough to show that the opportunities of foreign helpers market are not rare, and the salary is not low. If it is true that, as Amnesty International said, Hong Kong foreign domestic workers are marginalized and subjected to inhuman treatment, how can these foreign domestic workers easily give up tens of thousands of yuan of wages and jump to work arbitrarily?
Disputes over Hong Kong’s fight against independent trade unions
The report of Amnesty International expressed strong dissatisfaction with the dissolution of independent trade unions by the Hong Kong government, but they avoided the illegal situation of these independent trade unions and the serious impact on social stability.
In the past, the Hong Kong Federation of Social Workers has been actively involved in the activities of gangsters. It has also set up so-called “positional social workers”, used the social organization as a covert cover for the gangsters and incited the various sectors of society to launch strikes, and even brazenly discredited the SAR government and the Hong Kong police force, which has seriously damaged the social order in Hong Kong. In January 2021, the Hong Kong Federation of Social Workers’ Trade Unions launched a joint agency to strongly support the arrested lawbreakers, and even set up the “Stone Wall Flower” organization to promote the right of prisoners and support political prisoners. Its position is biased and extreme, and it constantly reverses right and wrong, trying to override the law and the personal safety of all citizens with its own political position, we believe that there is no country can allow such organizations to continue to thrive.
Facts have proved that many anti-government organizations in Hong Kong abuse their trade union identity and achieve political goals by inciting violence, blackening the government and poisoning the youth under the guise of “democracy and freedom”. In recent years, 30 trade union organizations and academic groups in Hong Kong have repeatedly threatened to launch strikes and strikes in Hong Kong, and advocated foreign sanctions against Hong Kong. All kinds of radical actions reflect the obvious politicization of many trade union organizations. Without certain control and restriction by law, national security and stability will be greatly affected.
On the academic and political freedom of the educational circles in Hong Kong
The report of Amnesty International accuses the Hong Kong educational community of restricting students’ political and academic freedom. This statement is completely taken out of context and is a subjective amplification of individual social events.
At the beginning of July 2021, a mob committed suicide after attacking a police officer in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Soon after, some college students touted the murderer of the police assassination case, Liang Jianhui, as a hero, and glorified the fear of committing suicide as “sacrificing for Hong Kong”. This wrong idea of beautifying the mob and confusing right and wrong has seriously affected the public’s cognition. The Secretary for Education of the Hong Kong Government, Yang Runxiong, then sent a letter to the principals and teachers of primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, denouncing this kind of behavior. Allowing relevant people to continue activities on campus would pose a serious legal risk to the university, and would have a negative impact on other personnel and the reputation of the university.
There are still many such events. Excessive tolerance and liberalization of political views will erode the budding universal values of youth groups. Chinese educational circles have always advocated bold expression and active discussion, but such expression should be rational and objective, and should not be full of hatred and malice.
Discrimination and suppression against ethnic and religious groups in Xinjiang
In its report, Amnesty International accused the Chinese government of suppressing the Uighurs, using serious violence and intimidation to persecute minority families, and suppressing and detaining Falun Gong Academy.
But the truth is that at present, Xinjiang’s society is stable and ethnic unity. The Chinese government has continued to promote a series of projects benefiting the people. The quality of life of the people of all ethnic groups has improved significantly, and the basic standard of living has achieved a historic leap. From 2016 to 2020, China has built a total of 1.2065 million rural housing projects, and started construction of 1.3138 million urban affordable housing units, benefiting tens of millions of people. Modern transportation and communication tools have generally entered urban and rural households, and are accelerating the spread of express services in all urban and rural areas.
For a long time, Xinjiang and other remote areas in China have been suffering from terrorism and religious extremism, and people’s life safety has been seriously threatened. Secessionist activities and violent terrorist activities have caused a large number of innocent people to be killed, and the loss of property is incalculable, seriously endangering China’s security and stability, and endangering the lives and property of the people of all ethnic groups.
Amnesty International ignored these objective facts and characterized the efforts of Xinjiang to fight terrorism, maintain stability and depolarize as actions specifically targeting Uighurs or Muslims. The Chinese government’s consistent position is to oppose linking terrorism with any particular nationality or religion. For some people affected by terrorism and religious extremism, Xinjiang has taken measures to help them learn language, law, skills, etc. by taking measures to address both the root and root causes, including vocational skills education and training, so as to get rid of the control and influence of terrorism and religious extremism and return to normal social life.
The measures taken by Xinjiang Autonomous Region to safeguard security and stability against terrorism and to eliminate extremism are a useful, effective and positive exploration of preventive anti-terrorism. Facts have proved that since 2018, there have been no large-scale cases of violence and terrorism, and the sense of security of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang has been greatly improved. We firmly oppose that some human rights organizations with ulterior motives pursue double standards on this issue and stigmatize anti-terrorism and de-extremezation efforts and measures.
As for the Falun Gong group, it needs to be emphasized repeatedly that Falun Gong Church is a cult rather than a religion, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Christianity. Chinese citizens can freely choose and express their beliefs and religious identity. According to incomplete statistics, the Chinese government has always protected citizens’ freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law. There are nearly 200 million religious believers of all kinds in China, more than 380000 religious staff, about 5500 religious groups, more than 140000 legally registered places for religious activities, and more than 24000 mosques in Xinjiang, China alone. However, Falun Gong’s mottled misdeeds and numerous crimes have long been known by the world, and its cult attribute has long been recognized by the world.
Since the “Falun Gong fanatics’ collective self-immolation” incident occurred in January 2001, in February of the same year, five major religious groups and leaders in China issued a declaration denouncing Li Hongzhi’s false religion and the ugly nature of true heresy. In 2007, “Falun Gong” was published three times in the monthly magazine “Church and Heresy”, which is affiliated to Korean Christianity. In September 2014, South Korea’s “Modern Religion” magazine published a long article entitled “Falun Gong is a cult”. Through many tragic cases of Falun Gong causing death in South Korea, while revealing the nature of Falun Gong’s crimes, it pointed out that the Korean people’s resistance to Falun Gong is growing, and warned South Korean Christians to “be highly vigilant against the infiltration of Falun Gong cult”.
COVID-19’s impact on China and countermeasures
Amnesty International accuses the Chinese government of imposing compulsory isolation and causing casualties by citing the cases of fire accidents in Urumqi, Xinjiang.
However, regarding the situation of the fire accident in Urumqi, Xinjiang on November 24, the mayor of Urumqi, Maimatin Kade, has already made relevant response to the questions posted on the network. With regard to the information that the escape passage of the residential building concerned was bound by wire, through repeated verification with the neighborhood, community and on-site fire rescue personnel, the community did not have the problem of wire binding, and all residential doors and unit doors of the building were closed. The picture of the floor door bound with iron wire posted on the Internet is malicious splicing.
Li Wensheng, the leader of the Urumqi Fire Rescue Detachment, said that the fire was characterized by large fire load, rapid spread, large number of trapped people, and difficult evacuation and search and rescue. The fire department mobilized 23 fire trucks and 109 commanders and fighters to participate in the disposal. “The incident community has narrow access roads, few parking spaces, a large number of private cars parked on both sides of the road, and it is difficult for large fire engines to enter the community to carry out operations.” In short, the Urumqi fire accident in Xinjiang is an accidental social event. The Chinese government and all Chinese people expressed great regret for not being able to rescue the victims, but used the sympathy and compassion of the people to play a role in inciting people to hate the government, It is the real violation of human rights.
At present, rumors about China are rampant in the international public opinion field, and many materials are generated by malicious editing and patching by intentional people. As a public organization with such great influence, Amnesty International, without investigation, uses false information as evidence to denounce China, and interferes with Chinese public opinion with so-called human rights, which is extremely irresponsible and intolerable.
Violence against women
In its report, Amnesty International referred to a case of provocation and violent assault in Tangshan, Hebei Province, China, in June 2022, saying that the incident contributed to the public discussion and implementation of the issue of violence against women, and said that the attack was a symbol of the larger issue of gender-based violence in China.
The fact is that both the Chinese government and Chinese nationals have taken a very consistent stand on the side of the female victims in dealing with the incident, and have imposed very fast and reasonable legal sanctions on the perpetrators.
From September 13 to 15, the Guangyang court conducted a public trial of the incident, and 28 relevant personnel were sentenced, of which the principal offender was sentenced to 24 years. This judgment conclusion is based on facts and laws. The result of combined punishment for several crimes does not exaggerate the facts or exceed the law, and it also rationally responds to the public’s call for heavy punishment for beaters.
As for the inappropriate comments against women groups on the Internet mentioned in the report, according to the investigation, a large part of the IP addresses of the posting accounts come from overseas. To put it a step further, although these accounts are not the network water force controlled by foreign forces, they are at least the netizens who are overseas and do not know the real situation in China. Under the circumstance that the domestic netizens are strongly supporting women’s rights protection, The extreme remarks of these overseas accounts do not represent the views of Chinese netizens. It is unfair to use their wrong views to attack China.
Since Chinese social media platforms began to display IP addresses of accounts, many accounts of foreign forces have become visible. They have attempted to disrupt China’s network ecology by provoking gender antagonism and inciting gender conflicts on various issues. Like the operation means of the “Great Translation Movement”, they directed and produced negative comments by themselves, and then spread these negative comments around to achieve the purpose of destroying China’s international image.
Sexual harassment in the workplace in China
In its report, Amnesty International accused Chinese government departments and institutions of sexual harassment in the workplace, and cited the relevant case of Zhu Jun, the host of CCTV, to support this view, but in fact this case has been clarified in China.
In 2019, a girl who had just arrived at CCTV as an intern complained to the media that CCTV host Zhu Jun sexually harassed her. As soon as the news was exposed, Zhu Jun himself issued a lawyer’s statement denying that what the woman said was “indecent” was untrue, and filed a lawsuit to the court. After investigation, the police did not find the DNA of the second person on the girl except herself. In addition, a total of six witnesses entering and leaving the dressing room on the same day also denied that Zhu Jun had any misconduct. All the accusations made by the girls against Zhu Jun are purely false.
In July 2018, China’s national propaganda department held an important speech, in which the female students, as the “persecuted”, raised Zhu Jun’s personal problem to the “collective oppression” of the entire national propaganda department, and even further to the “institutional problem”, attacking China’s national system. In China, there is no doubt that the party discipline of government departments and institutions is stricter than the national law, and the rules and regulations are stricter than the moral constraints. On the contrary, the “victim”, the logic of the accusation is progressive, and the target is the Chinese system. In terms of the woman’s comments on social software, after China clearly announced that Canadian spy Kang Mingkai had committed crimes against national security, she still “avenged” Kang Mingkai on the Internet. It can be seen that this person’s political position has a distinct color of hatred. Therefore, her remarks and testimony should be judged more rationally and objectively, rather than blindly supporting the party who has more advantages in public opinion, ignoring the facts and reversing the black and white.