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China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights held in Chongqing

Reporter: Meng Qingsheng 丨 CCTV.com

09-29-2016 14:07 BJT

Chinese and European experts have convened in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality to discuss the protection of human rights. The China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights focuses on ethnic minority issues.

China has 55 ethnic minorities…and each represents a unique culture and tradition. Protecting their human rights has been a major focus for the international scholars visiting Chongqing.

Professor van der Braak from the Neitherlands advocates an intercultural prospective in explaining the issue. 

"The values of Confucianism such as filial piety and humanness, are very much in agreement with humaneness, and human rights. So I think China does have this tradition of human rights, only it is not labeled human rights," he said.

China's human rights issue has been under close international scrutiny in recent years. Academics hold diversified points of view, as judged by their own accepted social norms. This event gathers experts in China and from Europe. It aims to narrow down the disparities and seek common ground. 

Professor van der Braak argues that the notion of human rights is more about the value of individualism in the west. But in China, it’s a combined focus on both the individual and society.

"Human rights are universal, but when they are adapted to a particular groups or particular situation needs to be localized. So we have to find a way, find a discourse to speak about human rights in this particular situation," he said.

Zhang Guobin from the Charhar Institute suggests measures to better protect ethnic minorities’ rights. On top of the agenda is an adjustment in the distribution of social resources.

“There’s an issue of imbalanced development. Let’s take Lhasa City in Tibet for example. People there benefit from development, and they have cell phones and computers alike. But people in remote areas do not have that. We need to provide better education resources to equip them well," he said.

The seminar was first held in France in 2015. It highlighted an academic interaction based on different cultural backgrounds.

Its organizers point out that by coming to China this year, they are seeking an alternative way to redefine the value of human rights protection.

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