Democracy should be common goal with diversified approaches: Chinese diplomat
GENEVA: Common goals with diversified approaches showcase exactly what diplomats are doing in various domains in Geneva, because civilizations are rich and diverse, and so is democracy, a senior Chinese diplomat said here on Thursday.
Li Song, charge d’affaires of the Chinese Mission in Geneva, said at the opening of a webinar titled “Democracy and Human Rights: Common Goals with Diversified Approaches” that democracy is not something that could be mass produced.
“It is not delivered through exactly the same institutions and forms even among the western countries, let alone between the West and the great number of developing countries,” he noted.
He said that when he raised the idea of holding such an online seminar, which was co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of China and Russia in Geneva, many diplomats from other countries agreed that such discussions are long overdue, and now is the right time to do it.
“Democracy and human rights are not decorations, nor luxuries, even less a monopoly of a handful of countries. Rather, it represents a right that people of all countries are entitled to,” Li said.
He stressed that whether a country is democratic or not should be left to its own people to decide, and no matter what form it takes, true democracy means people being the master of the country.
“We, Chinese, are proud of the achievements China has made in promoting democracy and human rights, and we stand ready to share with other countries and peoples our practices and experience. That being said, we do not intend to impose China’s model on others,” he noted.
“Because we know that Chinese practice is merely part of diversified practice of countries around the world. Let me put it this way, Chinese food is delicious, but you cannot ask foreigners to eat only Chinese food each and every day,” he explained.
Likewise, he said, China is eager to learn what lessons it can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism, but China will not accept preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture to others.
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