Europe and the United States share an interest in promoting human rights in China but often struggle to affect change in this regard. Because of ineffective approaches and low political commitment, human rights are a marginalized issue in transatlantic China policy and an afterthought to commercial interests. If Europe and the United States are serious about upholding an international order centered on the United Nations, international law, and universal values, human rights principles need to be integrated into policy fields where they have leverage as normative and regulatory powers, including in trade and investment. The way forward does not lie in a choice between “engagement” and “containment,” but in charting a third way that uses engagement strategically to promote human rights, the rule of law, and other objectives.
The paper linked below engages with these issues. It was written by Malin Oud, head of the RWI’s Stockholm Office and director of the China Programme. It draws out lessons from the past two decades of Western engagement with China and outlines ten principles for embedding human rights in European and US China policy.
You can access the paper by clicking the link below: