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EU, China, and the Concept of Human Rights: from a Cultural Relativism Perspective

Shao, Kaiyu LU (2013) SIMV07 20131
Department of Political Science
Master of Science in Global Studies
Graduate School
Abstract
Human rights have become one of the most sensitive issues between EU and China, and it has brought a substantial impact on the bilateral relation. The EU’s persistent criticism on the Chinese human rights situation has not only provoked strong reaction from the Chinese government, but also led to a wide antipathy towards the EU’s external human rights policy among ordinary Chinese people. Adopting cultural relativism as the theoretical framework, this master thesis explores the different views of Europe and China on the issue of human rights. It discusses how the characteristics of Chinese culture have influenced the implication of human rights to Chinese. Also, it elaborates how the Chinese understanding of human rights is related to the... (More)
Human rights have become one of the most sensitive issues between EU and China, and it has brought a substantial impact on the bilateral relation. The EU’s persistent criticism on the Chinese human rights situation has not only provoked strong reaction from the Chinese government, but also led to a wide antipathy towards the EU’s external human rights policy among ordinary Chinese people. Adopting cultural relativism as the theoretical framework, this master thesis explores the different views of Europe and China on the issue of human rights. It discusses how the characteristics of Chinese culture have influenced the implication of human rights to Chinese. Also, it elaborates how the Chinese understanding of human rights is related to the current Chinese position on a series of specific human rights issues. To demonstrate the validity of the analysis, the thesis overviews three typical issues in European Parliament's resolutions regarding Chinese human rights situation: the death penalty, the Tibet problem and freedom of expression, and illustrates the standpoints of both sides. It can be seen that culture is an effective factor in explaining the discrepancy. The study gets to the conclusion that EU fails to provoke sympathy among Chinese on its human rights position because Chinese hold a different view on the content of the notion. Concerning different aspects of human rights, Chinese give strong priorities to collective interests over individual rights. Meanwhile, the domestic demand for civil and political rights remains relatively low, since economic rights are seen as more essential rights. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Shao, Kaiyu LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMV07 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Human Rights, Cultural Relativism, EU, China
language
English
id
4001011
date added to LUP
2013-09-03 08:17:39
date last changed
2014-06-10 13:20:40
@misc{4001011,
  abstract     = {Human rights have become one of the most sensitive issues between EU and China, and it has brought a substantial impact on the bilateral relation. The EU’s persistent criticism on the Chinese human rights situation has not only provoked strong reaction from the Chinese government, but also led to a wide antipathy towards the EU’s external human rights policy among ordinary Chinese people. Adopting cultural relativism as the theoretical framework, this master thesis explores the different views of Europe and China on the issue of human rights. It discusses how the characteristics of Chinese culture have influenced the implication of human rights to Chinese. Also, it elaborates how the Chinese understanding of human rights is related to the current Chinese position on a series of specific human rights issues. To demonstrate the validity of the analysis, the thesis overviews three typical issues in European Parliament's resolutions regarding Chinese human rights situation: the death penalty, the Tibet problem and freedom of expression, and illustrates the standpoints of both sides. It can be seen that culture is an effective factor in explaining the discrepancy. The study gets to the conclusion that EU fails to provoke sympathy among Chinese on its human rights position because Chinese hold a different view on the content of the notion. Concerning different aspects of human rights, Chinese give strong priorities to collective interests over individual rights. Meanwhile, the domestic demand for civil and political rights remains relatively low, since economic rights are seen as more essential rights.},
  author       = {Shao, Kaiyu},
  keyword      = {Human Rights,Cultural Relativism,EU,China},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {EU, China, and the Concept of Human Rights: from a Cultural Relativism Perspective},
  year         = {2013},
}