Radio Netherlands Worldwide

SSO Login

More login possibilities:

  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • LinkedIn
Tuesday 23 December  
Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
John-Boy Vossen's picture
Beijing, China
Beijing, China

Change inevitable for China

Published on : 24 December 2012 - 10:00am | By John-Boy Vossen (Photo: United Nations)
More about:

It’s crucial that Western countries raise the issue of human rights with countries such as China during the current economic crisis. Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, told RNW’s China Desk that social justice will ultimately strengthen national economies.

De Schutter argues that it’s important to involve vulnerable groups in developing social safety nets. “Not only do such safety nets ensure a decent existence for the very poorest, but this approach helps ensure a long-term economic approach. Consultations with the vulnerable and consideration of the consequences mean fragile states have a better chance of developing policies that genuinely stimulate the economy”. 
Corruption and poverty
The benefits are not only economic, according to De Schutter. He claims China’s central government would also benefit: “Land grabbing by corrupt officials is an issue in parts of China, for instance. A genuine dialogue between the administration and local people would make this sort of problem visible and mean the government could take action more quickly and effectively.”
Corruption is a persistent problem in China, and tackling it is one of the ways the government hopes to keep the Chinese population satisfied. Continuing economic growth and prosperity are vital, but also problematic. Even though China has succeeded in lifting 662 million people above the poverty line in the past 30 years, the total number of those who are extremely poor is still huge. 
Growing problems
Beijing announced in April of this year that 130 million Chinese are living in poverty. And that’s measured as those living on less than $1 a day, while the UN and the World Bank set a higher boundary of $1.25 per day.
“An additional problem is that the gap between rich and poor has grown enormously in China in recent years. This has led to increasing dissatisfaction, especially in rural areas”, says De Schutter, and that dissatisfaction is worrying the government. “Every government official I talk to tells me the current Chinese system is under huge pressure”, he explains, “and a solution has to be found quickly”. 
Change unavoidable
The UN rapporteur claims that this pressure means Beijing is slowly but surely trying to address human rights issues.  “The regime is terrified of a Chinese version of the Arab Spring. They fear that without reform, a cultural revolution will see the country descend into chaos.” De Schutter concludes that China is at a crossroads. “The Party must change things, otherwise things will change without the Party”.  


toko 11 December 2014 - 1:20pm

content is very interesting to me see, greetings from us toko alat alat sex, sedia berbagai macam informasi alat bantu sexinevitable

Vera Gottlieb 24 December 2012 - 4:49pm / Switzerland

Would not say that the West has been the impeccable example when it comes to human rights. But of course, as long as we keep pointing finger at someone else, we are scrutinized less.

Post new comment

Please be reminded all comments must be in English, short and to the point - guideline 250 words. Abusive and inappropriate comments will be removed.

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <p> <br>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

RNW on Facebook

RNW Player

Video highlights

Ladies on the move
RNW is keen on featuring inspiring women in our target countries, women who...
What about men?
In many countries, men don't stick around to raise their children. This is...