Published in People’s Daily on Aug. 05 :: By Volker Tschapke, Prussian Association President (CNTV) ::
I went to China for the first time in 1984, and after 2009, I went there at least once a year. Every time when I returned Germany, I began to look forward to the next China trip. I have enjoyed complete freedom in China. China is very safe; it’s one of the countries that have the lowest crime rate in the world. I can chat with my friends freely, and no one has ever told me what is prohibited to talk about.
China has achieved a great leap forward since the reform and opening up in 1978, no other country in the world has done this before. Today, China is an open country that actively participates in international affairs. Many countries are dependent on economic ties with China. After the international financial crisis in 2008, if not China, many large companies in Germany simply could not survive.
Every time German government delegation visits China, the German media will refer to human rights issues. I think it is inappropriate to rashly accuse China when one does not know the specific background about their people and events. Fairness is needed in treating human rights issues. China has not criticized our country on the human rights problems, I think the way we treat China should be more decent. On human rights issues, our country should be more careful, tolerant and take consistent standards.
Human rights issues are important for all countries; we should have common standards throughout the world. Western governments and media repeatedly accuse China of human rights issues; I can fully understand why this would cause resentment in China. I think, in return, China should ask the West, what about your human rights situation?
Currently, America’s snooping scandal is a hot topic in Germany, because it is a serious violation of the German people’s privacy, which is also a human rights issue. In addition, all German politcal parties have conducted intense discussions on German American spiesand double agents recently, it is very necessary.
If we consider the human rights issues as important, we should make no difference when discussing them. We should also include the human right issues in the U.S., and the Guantanamo prison should be discussed in the first place. Unfortunately, Germany failed to do so.
If we really respect the human rights issues, we should equally use the same criteria, but we haven’t done that. We haven’t mentioned the human right issues in countries like Israeli, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and many African countries. India claims itself as the largest democratic country in the world, however, the rape problem there is serious, and no one has taken it as a human right issue. We should not blame others but ignore our problems. It is hardly convincing if one accuse to other countries of human rights only because of political differences.
China and Germany are different countries; German people should not blame China for not acting in accordance with the German approach. Today, the two countries have good consultation mechanism, and dialogue is the way to guarantee true friendship.