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UN Official: China Can't Go Its 'Own Way' On Rights

2 September 2005 -- The United Nations human rights chief, Louise Arbour, said she is "guardedly optimistic" that China is making progress on human rights, but rejected Beijing's contention that every nation should do this in its own way.

Arbour told a news conference in Beijing today that all nations must meet international standards on human rights. It was Arbour's first visit to China since taking over as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The highlight of her visit was the signing of an agreement meant to smooth the way for Beijing to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

China claims being fed and clothed are a basic human right and the government's efforts to feed and clothe its population of 1.3 billion people supersede political freedoms.