Editor's note: China has been repeatedly singled out for alleged human rights violations by the West, especially the U.S., which has recently put sanctions on Chinese officials over their actions with regard to Xinjiang. Mustafa Hyder Sayed, executive director of the Pakistan-China Institute, believes that the U.S. has selectively applied the concept of "human rights" – not only have they ignored the remarkable records of China improving its people's living standards and human rights, they have also been quiet about their own appalling human rights violations, one example of which was the setting up of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Views expressed in this video are his, and not necessarily those of CGTN.
Mustafa Hyder Sayed: I think when we talk about human rights and when we talk about human rights violations, first we need to understand what are human rights.
One of the major human rights or the human right is the right to a prosperous life, to a life with water, food, access to education, right? These are the basic rights. And China has lifted over 800 million people out of poverty in a generation. China boasts one of the biggest sizes of the middle class in recent history. So when we talk about human rights, China has given this human right to its people – the right to a better life, the right to a better tomorrow. A right, which unfortunately a lot of Western countries, including the United States, have been unable to give. So that is the number one point.
Number two, the selective application of human rights is something which I like to call the weaponization of human rights – using human rights as a weapon of a hybrid war, which has been waged on China.
It's part of the new Cold War, which we see emanating from Washington. And when you talk about human rights, the U.S. government uses it selectively. It's not a debate about human rights. It's not based on principles, but the application of human rights is based on politics.
In the U.S., whether it's the Guantanamo Bay, which is based in Cuba, where they have prisoners from all over the world who are kept, a lot of them without charges – it's an illegal human rights facility which President Obama said he would end, but he was not able to end it; or whether it's the human rights abuses against African Americans and minorities, whether it's the human rights abuses in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, that is not going to be are highlighted by the Western media.
(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at email@example.com.)