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DoDo: When backwards views on rights issues are championed as an issue of national sovereignity, all sense is lost.

But that begs the question:  "backwards" according to who?

Same goes for Ivan Lewis's statements:

'China cannot expect to receive the respect they yearn from the international community until they abide by minimum standards of human rights.'

'.... it needs to be clear as that country plays a greater role in the world they have to understand their responsibility to adhere to the most basic standards of human rights.'

China's execution of Akmal Shaikh enrages British leaders | World news | guardian.co.uk

The presumption here is that the English/Europeans/Westerners have a monopoly, or at least the last word, on determining what the "minimum/basic standards of human rights" are.  It doesn't seem to occur to them that others may beg to differ, especially in light of the track record of the English/Europeans/Westerners as perceived by those others.

Morus is probably right that if Europeans want to compel other societies to abide by and adopt current European principles and values, then a good strategy would be to bring to bear the collective economic and political weight of the European Union.  But, as you point out, obviously it had better not be in terms of special treatment for EU citizens.

La Chine dorme. Laisse la dormir. Quand la Chine s'éveillera, le monde tremblera.

by marco on Wed Dec 30th, 2009 at 05:46:44 AM EST
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