China is currently facing a global backlash and huge uproar concerning its extremely aggressive stance against the libertarian essence of Human Rights. An episode of Human Rights abuse which was first witnessed during the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, has now increased exponentially and instances such as the persecution of ethnic minorities in Uyghur, Inner Mongolia, and Tibet, and crackdown in Hong Kong have become a daily norm. Human Rights Watch believes that China is in the midst of its darkest period for human rights since the 1989 debacle.

Along with the horrendous episodes of ethnic persecutions, Human Rights Watch report has further equated human rights abuse to the abhorrent and inhumane attempt of grappling with the deadly coronavirus outbreak as it was first reported in Wuhan and subsequently spread all across the world. While the world struggled to cope with the deadly virus, Wuhan, China was one of the first cities to get in front of the disease thus sparking a major global controversy that whether Covid was a planned scheme to push the world in a global lockdown. Furthermore, as 4,600 people lost their lives at the very beginning of the disease in Wuhan in 2020, the people of China demanded freedom of expression and transparency after authorities reprimanded health professionals for warning about the virus.

The curtailment of news and information during the wake of Covid was further voiced by the mysterious death of Dr. Li Wenliang who raised his voice about the coronavirus and its associated controversy regarding China fostering the virus in its own lab. Dr. Li tried to alarm the fellow medics about the potential virus outbreak however he was contacted by the local police which prohibited him from doing so. Dr. Li was contacted by the virus and was consequently admitted to the Wuhan Central Hospital from where he posted his story entailing the gravity of the said outbreak. Dr. Li pointed out that the local administrative authorities had a very insignificant and lukewarm response during the early days of the outbreak and therefore invariably blameworthy for the current state of affairs. He also mentioned in his post that upon voicing his concerns about the virus, Dr. Li was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where was made to sign a letter bearing the accusation of him ‘making false statements that had ‘severely disturbed the social order’. Dr. Li was soon granted apologies from the local authorities when his concerns shaped into reality and China declared the outbreak as an emergency. Many people claimed Dr. Li as their hero and some humbled him by calling him a responsible citizen. Dr. Li eventually lost the battle against Covid and was reported dead on 7 Feb 2020.

China is also criticized at the UN as the country did not allow immediate, meaningful, and unfettered access to Xinjiang. The restrictions on expression and liberty continued unabated. Foreign journalists, media persons, and content creators faced detention and expulsion. They were also invariably harassed by choreographing systematic delays of visa renewals. Furthermore, Chinese and other tech firms associated with China were forced to block certain contents that the Chinese government deemed politically sensitive and thereby extending the censorship standards internationally.

Universal Right to Life which incorporates both Rights to Health and Freedom of Expression are the ones that are in constant threat in China. Internet censorship, minority persecution, ethnic discrimination, etc., reflect the abhorrent state of Human Rights in China. During the Covid-19 outbreak, social media was heavily censored to suppress the flow of information to the rest of the world. And even if it did, local medical professionals and activists were harassed by authorities for ‘making false comments’ and ‘severely disturbing the social order’. The authorities, microscopically censored hundred of thousands of keyword combinations on social media and messaging apps. Online posts which hinted, directed to the mentions of Covid Outbreak, dissent, free speech through sensitive hashtags were quickly deleted.

The atrocities with respect to Human Rights also extend to Gender and Sexual identity differences. China’s largest and longest-running LGBTI festival, Shanghai Pride, announced the cancellation of all future activities as the safe space for the LGBTI community is shrinking, as the activists reported facing harassment for speaking out against discrimination and homophobia. Online platforms and print media further silenced their voices as they blocked LGBTI-related content and hashtags. Furthermore, the government-approved textbooks referred to the concept of homosexuality as people suffering from ‘common psychosexual disorder’. Numerous cases highlighting the atrocities inflicted on the non-binaries have surfaced in the past few years. Being Gay in China has become exponentially difficult under the stringent governance of Xi Jinping. Censorship under his government with respect to LGBTQQ rights has even escalated to censoring popular sitcoms, for eg., friends wherein the plotline about Ross’ lesbian ex-wife has been completely filtered. Similarly, in the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot ‘And Just Like That’ a gay sex scene was doctored for the Chinese audience. The dating applications such as Grindr have also faced a similar consequence and have been consequently removed from Apple Inc.s App Store. It is, therefore, safe to conclude that anything other than traditional mainstream heterosexuality has a shadow existence in China.

China is indeed in its darkest phase of human rights suppression and is rightly facing an indirect global boycott from various powerful countries.