China's communist president, Xi Jinping, calls "universal values" such as "human rights, freedom, and democracy" as "bourgeois, Western values" that his country would never embrace.
This was highlighted on September 10 by Bitter Winter, which rightly noted that one of the biggest errors made by many Western media and politicians is their failure to "read Xi Jinping - Xi Jinping in Chinese." That is, because the CCP seldom translates his most significant ideological works into English.
Massimo Introvigne, an Italian religious sociologist and founder of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), a global network of academics specializing in new religious groups, contributes to the column.
Introvigne helps explain the 34th part of the series, which provided Xi's response to the question "Why should we take a clear stand against the so-called 'universal values' of the West?" published on September 2.
He said that, in the manner of a Marxist, Xi Jinping classifies human history into stages of development. According to Xi, the era of "feudal autocracy" was replaced by the "more progressive bourgeois revolutions" that took place after that. As a result, Marxist socialism should be victorious against this bourgeois liberalism. "Marxist socialism," on the other hand, will strive to overthrow this "bourgeois liberalism."
According to Xi, the principles of freedom, democracy, and human rights "played a historic role in the process of opposing feudal autocracy."
"As the bourgeoisie gained a dominant position," says Xi Jinping, "these values have increasingly become tools for maintaining the rule of capital."
To Xi Jinping, this is a "clever" tactic of the global capitalists, headed by "the United States and other Western countries," to "package these values as 'universal values' and promote them globally, which confuses many people."
Thus, for the CCP's leader, advocating for freedom, democracy, and human rights as "universal values" merely produces an "ideological fog" whose "essence and harm" must be unmasked. Additionally, he said that the West is pushing these ideas in China in order to "ultimately overthrow the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and my country's socialist system."
Introvigne observed that this is often the justification given by totalitarian governments that refuse to provide human rights, freedom, and democracy to their citizens. They argue that these are 'Western' values and are not broadly applicable.
"Xi Jinping's words are music to the ears of all dictators in the world, and this is why they support China at the United Nations every time its abysmally low human rights record is denounced," he noted.
Similarly, the Nazis argued that human rights were not universal and that Germany had its own distinct history, but both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and contemporary human rights theory refuted this. According to the alliance, there are neither "Western" or "Eastern" human rights, just "rights" that everyone should have based on shared "human nature rather than a historical tradition or political system."
"Either they are respected, or they are not respected," said Introvigne. "Xi Jinping is telling the world China does not and will not respect them-if only the world would listen."
A Christian perspective
From a Christian perspective, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is merely a reaffirmation of what devout believers throughout history have proclaimed.
In the words of this well-known Oak Cliff pastor Tony Evans, man was made in the image of God, or the "imago Dei." That is, it should be free of bias towards race, gender, or any other artificially created categorization.
"We are of every tribe and nation, and God sees us," Evans said. "But the only subject of the Bible is the glory of God and the advancement of His Kingdom. We are never to allow the politics of men to break up our togetherness, so stand together as the Lord sends you."