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Vote of approval for China's rights record

Updated: 2016-11-02 07:35
(China Daily)

Vote of approval for China's rights record


Promoter of causes

China once again regained its seat in the United Nations Human Rights Council with 180 votes on Oct 28. This is the fourth time China has become the member of the top UN human rights body with a high percentage of votes.

China played an active role in the negotiations and final vote on the establishment of the UNHRC on March 15, 2006; it became the human rights body's member for three years after winning 146 votes on May 9 in the same year. In May 2009, China regained its seat by winning 167 votes. Since UNHRC rules say a country can be a member for only two consecutive terms, China resumed its three-year membership again after winning 176 votes on Nov 12, 2013.

The number of votes won by China has steadily risen in the past decade-it is the highest among the Asia-Pacific group and the second-highest among all candidates. A country needs more than half of the UN General Assembly members' votes to become a member of the UNHRC, and China has gained more than two-thirds of the General Assembly's votes four times. This means China has won the recognition of most countries in the international community.

The 180 votes won by China this time indicates the international community is satisfied by China's performance during its third tenure in the UNHRC from 2014 to 2016. In the past three years, China has taken active part in the council's activities and fulfilled its due responsibilities.

That China has got a seat in the UNHRC for the fourth time also indicates the international community approves of China's measures to protect human rights, because candidate countries' records in human rights protection are important factors that influence voters' decisions. So China will use its fourth term as a member of the UNHRC as an opportunity to push forward international human rights causes.

Luo Yanhua is a professor of international relations at Peking University.

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