The Chinese government’s understanding of human rights is fundamentally different from that widely held by much of the West. Additionally, many human rights lawyers oppose the Chinese government’s views and practices. This dissonance poses a threat to the stability of the region, especially considering China’s common historical cycle of oppression, protest and revolution. While potential protests may indeed bring about change, possibly even a positive one, instability is a probable byproduct, as seen in China’s own revolutionary past. However, change will come slowly in the People’s Republic of China until the majority of its population is aware of the ruling party’s human rights violations. There are several groups fighting for this change and as a result, China is seeing new laws that can improve the human rights situation. A special group of lawyers, called human rights lawyers seek to enforce these laws within the government. While it may be an uphill battle, human rights lawyers need to continue to pressure the government within their rights, and they will need support from the international community. Stability in China is of top priority for U.S. national security. A new level of chaos in the region could translate to a decline in the Chinese economy, which is so vital to the world market, in particular the U.S. economy.
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