The right to freedom of expression in China and the West : China's right to a cultural specific freedom of expression orientation?
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Freedom of expression is one of the most sensitive and intensively discussed issues between China and the UN today. The UN´s criticism of China´s freedom of expression orientation is embedded in a universalist understanding and conflicts with the cultural relativistic position China takes over the same rights. China and cultural relativists argue that the cultural, historical and political particularities of a state impact human rights orientation and by such, never can be universal. Given the differences between China and UN´s understanding of freedom of expression, this thesis analysis how China´s history, politics and culture shape its current freedom of expression orientation. This analysis aims to explore whether or not China´s freedom of expression orientation can be justified on the argument of historical, cultural and political particularities. My thesis concludes that these particularities have a limited effect. By implementing Fairclough´s model of critical discourse analysis, I have analyzed the relationship between text and its social context, being UPR documents and the particularities of Chinese history. My analysis demonstrates that the relationship that exists takes on a hidden agenda as the CCP uses Chinese particularities to promote self-interests.