Chinese Human Rights at Davos: Don’t Ask, Won’t Tell

Chinese Human Rights at Davos: Don’t Ask, Won’t Tell

Foreign Policy’s Isaac Stone Fish found several conversations at the World Economic Forum in Davos suddenly cut short by his mention of Chinese human rights issues:

Yes, a meeting of finance tycoons, heads of state, and chiefs of massive corporations is probably not the place to criticize the illiberalism of one of the world’s most powerful countries. At Davos, “human rights comes up all the time,” Kenneth Roth, the executive director of the NGO Human Rights Watch and a long time Davos participant, told me. But not for China, he added. That’s a shame. For a forum that claims to help participants “strengthen their situation awareness and contextual intelligence,” ignoring an important aspect of China does a disservice to those coming here to learn.

[…] Most other international forums that contain Chinese principals also give China a pass. “Their allergy to raising human rights questions and thereby offending China is hardly unique to them,” a long time China watcher and Davos regular, who asked to speak anonymously, told me by email. “They are only one of the many organizations abroad (not just in China) who are feel that their access depends on staying away from ‘sensitive issues.’” [Source]

Read about Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s comments at this year’s WEF and about previous years’ events via CDT.

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