China Touts Human Rights 'Values' as International Pressure Mounts on Olympics

China released a report on its human rights values Tuesday, as international pressure mounts on the country ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The report was also released just days after the U.S., citing concerns over human rights abuses, announced it would not be sending diplomats to the Olympics, which are slated to begin in February.

The report was published by New China Research, which is the think tank of Xinhua News Agency, the country's official state-run media organization. The agency works as a major distributor of propaganda related to the Communist Party of China.

Titled "Pursuing Common Values of Humanity," the report delved into the country's supposed efforts towards advancing the cause of democracy.

An introduction by Chinese President Xi Jinping also stated that "peoples of all countries uphold the shared human values of peace, development, equity,
justice, democracy and freedom."

"Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit," Xi continued.

The report states that China has thrived under its philosophy of "the running of the country by the people," adding that the Chinese constitution guarantees the respect of human and civil rights. The country also called itself a "faithful practitioner and innovator in the practice of the concepts of democracy, freedom and human rights," but noted that its journey was not complete.

Beijing Olympics 2022
China has released a report on its human rights values and efforts, despite mounting criticism by the international community over reported human rights abuses against ethnic Uyghurs. The U.S. and a number of other nations have already committed to a diplomatic boycott. Here, the 2022 Olympics logo can be seen in a park in Beijing. Noel Celis/Getty

The report also went into detail on the country's surge towards creating a supposed 'socialist democracy' by allowing its people to "become the masters of the country."

Additionally, the report made mention of the many state-run programs found within China. While this has been subject to criticism across many democracies, China stated that "exercising power by the law can benefit the people, while the illegal and unlawful exercise of power is bound to harm the country and the people."

Despite the report's insistence that China has made civil liberties a top priority, international criticism has continued to mount over widespread reports of human rights abuses.

The NGO Human Rights Watch has detailed significant crimes against humanity, particularly against Uyghurs and other Muslim groups in the Xianjiang region. This includes, among other things, reports of mass detentions, forced disappearances, forced labor, cultural genocide, and sexual crimes.

A Chinese official stated that the goal of these actions was to "break [the Uyghurs'] lineage, break their roots."

In addition to the reported human rights issues, the sports community at large has expressed concern for Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, who disappeared after accusing a party official of sexual assault. Concerns remain over her safety despite assurances from China that she is fine.

International backlash against these allegations has continued to build in the lead up to the Olympics. The United States is perhaps the most visible country to pull out of the festivities following its diplomatic boycott, but it is not alone.

Australia also announced Tuesday that it would follow the U.S.' lead and refuse to send officials to Beijing, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The country is reportedly weighing whether to proceed with a full diplomatic boycott, while neighboring New Zealand said that it had already decided to not send diplomats.

France, Germany, and the U.K. have not announced their stances yet, although the European Parliament passed a resolution in July urging its member states to commit to a boycott.

Newsweek has reached out to the Chinese Embassy for comment.