HE Zhipeng: Cultural Conflicts in Human Rights and Their Solutions
February 20,2020   By:en.humanrights.cn
Cultural Conflicts in Human Rights and Their Solutions
HE Zhipeng

HE Zhipeng, the dean of law school of Jilin University, delivers a speech at the parallel session. (Jia Puyu/ en.humanrights.cn)
HE Zhipeng said that human rights, as a great achievement in the development of human civilization, has existed for quite a long time. It has experienced the globalization process, in which a consensus is gradually formed on ideas and concepts and this originally Western system has been adopted by the world. Nevertheless, there are still ideologically and culturally based disputes regarding human rights. The theory of “clash of civilizations” is still at work in discussions of human rights.
Cultural conflicts in human rights are manifested mainly as disapprovals of concepts, theories, and practices of human rights in different cultures, and even interference in the internal affairs of other countries. In order to solve such conflicts, a key step is ideological transformation to avoid cultural hegemonic thinking, and promote human rights exchanges, cooperation, and healthy development through the coexistence and harmony of different civilizations.
Initial results have been achieved in conceptual coordination and institutional cooperation in human rights across the world. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is an initial result of the harmonious communication between different cultures. China, an Eastern country far away from the Western culture, has formed a harmonious system of concepts and ideological system of human rights by reconciling Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. China is different in many aspects of human rights, such as understanding, guiding principles and implementation methods, from Western human rights systems. China has even formed the path, practices, and culture of human rights with Chinese characteristics in its social progress and national governance.  However, even with such difference, the Chinese Government and academia don’t believe that China does not approve of the idea and systems of human rights.  It does not insist that China’s path and system of human rights are the only correct ones in the world, or that all others are wrong or evil. On the contrary, China tries to link its own understanding with the others’ ideas of human rights.
China's long, gentle, and tolerant culture has prompted the Chinese government and academia to adopt an inclusive and open-minded approach to different human rights ideas, concepts, systems, and practices. But at the same time, China also hopes that all countries in the world adopt the same tolerant and friendly attitudes towards each other and that the world works together to improve human rights through understanding, exchanges, and cooperation. Therefore, China neither understands nor accepts, and even criticizes the West for its bigotry about human rights. China looks forward to its solid achievements and sincere attitudes to safeguard and promote human rights so as to prove that China offers an effective and successful alternative to understanding and practicing human rights. China is willing to work with countries around the world to explore effective ways to improve human rights through active actions, instead of ridiculing or criticizing others just to satisfy its own wishes or even to achieve the purpose of uniting with those of the same views but alienating those with different views and gloat over others’ sufferings. Therefore, China actively advocates and earnestly implements the principle of human rights exchange of seeking common points while reserving differences, and strives to promote experience sharing and institutional cooperation on human rights under the guidance of the concept of inclusiveness and openness, so as to form a harmonious international and domestic order and realize coordinated, common and sustainable development of human rights at a high level.
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