Sacred Mountain Reviews

Video Librarian: The Video Review Magazine for Librarians

**** = Excellent
*** = Good
** = Fair
* = Poor

Human Rights in China: The Search for Common Ground ***
(2004) 50 min. VHS: individuals: $24.95, institutions: $69.95 (w/PPR); DVD: individuals: $29.95, institutions: $79.95 (w/PPR). Sacred Mountain Productions. Color cover.

"American leaders had hoped that China's move to a free market economy would also bring an increased commitment to democracy and human rights. However, China's censorship of the Internet, its use of political prisoners for slave labor, expulsion of famers and villagers from their land,a nd persecution of practitioners of the quasi-religion Falun Gong continues. After WWII, the newly formed United Nations declared that human rights were universal, not something to be granted or denied at the whim of governments. But are human rights universal, or is there some degree of "cultural relativism" that must be taken into account? Activists and scholars here ponder China's recent human rights record, and ask what it might portend for regional and world peace as China's economic and military power grows. The program notes China's turbulent history, persistent suspicions that the West is bent on humiliating China, and the great value the Chinese government places on the preservation of stability and social order (not to mention the preservation of its communist regime.) China embraces different notions of individuality, autonomy, and self sufficiency, and resents what it considers to be the West's meddling in internal affairs. Although the question of whether China and the West can find common ground remains unanswered at program's end, this would still make a good starting point for discussion groups, as both sides of a thorny issue are fairly presented. Given teh almost daily news coverage of China's role in world trade and military affairs, this couldn't be more timely. Recommended. Aud: C, P. (S. Rees)"


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