Under Deng Xiaoping, the People’s Republic of China announced a policy of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”
John Gittings in The Changing Face of China quoted Deng Xiaoping as saying, “Planning and market forces are not the essential difference between socialism and capitalism. A planned economy is not the definition of socialism, because there is planning under capitalism; the market economy happens under socialism, too. Planning and market forces are both ways of controlling economic activity.”
Soon after Mao died in 1976, Deng Xiaoping’s Beijing Spring was introduced. This was a brief period lasting from 1977 into 1978, and during that time, the public was allowed greater freedom to criticize the government, which wasn’t allowed under Mao.
An example of this may be seen in “The Awakening” (Su-Xing), a movie produced during this period starring Joan Chen (Chen-Chung) and Gau Fei. [ISBN: 978-7-88611-603-2]. There are no English subtitles so it helps to have someone that reads or speaks Mandarin watch the movie with you that can point out the subtle criticisms of the Party that appear in the film, which was considered controversial at that time.
There was also a new Beijing Spring between 1997 to November 1998 where the Chinese government relaxed some control over political expression and organization.
It was during this time that China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
The United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is a permanent international criminal court, founded in 2002 by the Rome Statute to “bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide”, especially when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so.
However, on May 2, 2002 the United States stated that it did not intend to be bound by its signature to the ICC and that is has no intention to ratify it. President Clinton signed the ICC, but President G. W. Bush and the Republican-led Senate refused to ratify it.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), which took place from 1973 through 1982. The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
The United States is one of seventeen countries that have signed but not ratified the UNCLOS. North Korea is also one of the seventeen countries that have not ratified this UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, China has signed and ratified it.
On December 18, 1979, the United Nations adopted The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was the most comprehensive and detailed international agreement seeking the advancement of women.… The United States is the only industrialized country that has not ratified the treaty, putting the US in the company of countries such as Sudan, Iran and Somalia.
Slavery is not a thing of the past, as WFOR’s Jennifer Santiago discovered on a visit to West Africa. Over a million children are trafficked in the country of Benin alone. (CBS News)
The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the UN in 1989, and is one of the most widely received conventions. The CRC has been accepted by 192 countries. The U.S. may soon be the only country in the world not to ratify the CRC.
Five years after the 1992 founding of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, over 143 countries met in Ottawa, Canada and signed a ban on anti-personnel mines. The United States has still not signed the treaty.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol legally bound industrialized countries by 2010 to reduce their collective emissions of six greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to 1990 levels. One hundred forty-one (141) countries have signed the treaty, but the United States (the largest producer of greenhouse gases) has not.
There are more human rights treaties the US has not signed, and you may find this list at Feminist Majority.org.
In fact, No key human rights treaty has been ratified by the United States under the guidelines by which it was adopted and enforced by the UN General Assembly.
However, when there are alleged and unproven human rights violations in countries such as China, the US media is the first to accuse and complain causing an uproar of anger in America.
Do you believe history counts or do we ignore the past starting with yesterday? If you answer yes, shouldn’t other countries and/or cultures get the same privilege?
Return to History Counts – Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared in February 2010 as An American Genocide, An American Shadow Over the Philippines, In a Dark Mirror Without Reflection, and After Mao.