Let me give you an example. If you are in Africa, starving to death, and I’m afraid that in Africa there are people who face death by starvation, provided you are able to use Facebook you meet the criteria of a ‘human right’ by the Western criteria – but the fact that you are dying of starvation is not counted in the criteria of ‘human rights’! But for virtually all people, and all sensible ones, the question of whether they starve to death is much more important than the question of whether they can use Facebook or not.
Let’s take another example – the question of the comparison between China and India. Again on the latest data a Chinese woman lives on average eight years longer than does an Indian woman. Chinese literacy amongst women is 94% whereas in India, literacy among women is only 63%. That means almost forty percent of Indian women can’t read or write.
Over 700 million people in India don’t have a access to a toilet – an issue which affects all such people but women even more so. But according to the Western definition if you can use Facebook you have human rights but if you don’t have a toilet that is irrelevant to your human rights. But for the overwhelming majority of people who don’t have one to have a toilet is a very much more fundamental issue of human rights than being able to use Facebook.
Whose human rights are really better? Are the human right of an Indian woman – an Indian woman who lives eight years less than a Chinese woman, who has an almost forty percent chance of not reading or writing, and doesn’t have a toilet – better than those of a Chinese woman because she happens to live in a parliamentary republic? Any definition which claims that result, which is what the Western one does, is absolutely absurd. The human rights of a Chinese woman are clearly much better than the human rights of an Indian woman – and I say that with regret because I would like the human rights of an Indian woman to be as good as those of a Chinese woman and I hope they will become so in the future.
The idea of reducing human rights to a few questions such as whether you can use Facebook or not is therefore absolutely ridiculous.
This is also, of course, why Western propaganda is not very effective. Because most people consider the question of how long they live? What is their standard of living? Whether they can read or write? What are the real rights of women? These are much more important for them than the questions that Western countries point to.
So therefore, I will repeat very simply what I said. The record of China, through lifting people out of poverty and through having the fastest increase in living standard of any country in the world, ensures that it is China which has made the greatest contribution to the improvement of human rights of any country in the world. The greatest increase in human rights in the world that could be made would be for other developing countries to have the same success as China.
And it is necessary to be clear the reasons why the Western definition of human rights is a ridiculous fraud.