China, Victim of Double Standard—Obasanjo

By Peter Umar-Omale and Andrew Ahiante, This Day (Lagos), 28 August 2001

Abuja President Olusegun Obasanjo has said in far away China, that some western human rights groups have double standard over the oriental nation.

Obasanjo who was received by Chinese President Jiang Zemin yesterday for talks that focused on the need not to give in to western concepts of human rights, equally said that such rights group unreasonably blame China for human rights abuses.

Obasanjo, who arrived in China at the weekend for a five-day official visit was welcomed by Jiang to a 21-gun, red-carpet ceremony in Beijing, the capital city.

In his speech, Obasanjo who was visiting China for the first time since be became President in May 1999, was quoted by agency reports as saying that “in the area of human rights, some western countries unreasonably blame China and maintain double standards”.

He said that Nigeria does not agree with these western views, stressing that the most basic human right issue for developing countries is to ensure that the population as a whole is well off.

“China, as the most populous country in the world, has been able to guarantee the basic needs of its people, which is a great step forward in the area of human rights,” Obasanjo was quoted as saying. His Chinese host agreed, saying that solving the basic issues of subsistence “is the first aim of developing human rights” .Meanwhile, China and Nigeria has signed six documents, including an agreement to boost trade and economic relations between the two countries.