Representative selections from China's twentieth-century human rights discourse, rendered into fluid and non-technical English. The documents are arranged chronologically, and each is preceded by a brief introduction dealing with the author and the immediate context. The book also includes a glossary in which translations of key terms are linked to their Chinese equivalents.

part I|54 pages

Last Years of the Qing Dynasty: 1900–1911

chapter 1|2 pages

On Citizens (1901)

chapter 2|10 pages

On Rights Consciousness (1902)

ByLiang Qichao

chapter 3|9 pages

On Rights (1903)

chapter 4|5 pages

The People’s Legal Right to Freedom (1903)


chapter 5|8 pages

The Revolutionary Army (1903)

ByZou Rong

chapter 6|5 pages

Textbook on Ethics (1905)

ByLiu Shipei

part II|69 pages

The New Culture Movement, May Fourth, and the Twenties: 1914–1926

chapter 9|5 pages

Self-awareness (1914)

ByZhang Shizhao

chapter 10|5 pages

The French and Modern Civilization (1915)

ByChen Duxiu

chapter 11|9 pages

The Constitution and Confucianism (1916)

ByChen Duxiu

chapter 12|5 pages

The Constitution and Freedom of Thought (1916)

ByLi Dazhao

chapter 13|7 pages

The State Is Not the Final End of Life (1915)

ByGao Yihan

chapter 14|4 pages

Manifesto of the Struggle for Freedom (1920)

ByHu Shi, Jiang Menglin, Tao Menghe, Wang Zheng, Zhang Weici, Li Dazhao, Gao Yihan

chapter 15|7 pages

The Spirit of Contemporary Democracy (1919)

ByTan Mingqian

chapter 17|13 pages

Eastern and Western Cultures and Their Philosophies (1921)

ByLiang Shuming

chapter 18|5 pages

The Principle of People’s Power (1924)

BySun Yatsen

chapter 19|6 pages

Foreword to Renquan Magazine (1925)

part III|57 pages

The Nanjing Decade: 1927–1937

chapter 21|8 pages

Human Rights and the Provisional Constitution (1929)

ByHu Shi

chapter 22|14 pages

On Human Rights (1929)

ByLuo Longji

chapter 24|4 pages

Two Excerpts (1933 and 1936)

ByWu Jingxiong

chapter 27|7 pages

The Protection of Civil Rights (1933)

ByHu Shi

part IV|31 pages

War with Japan and Civil War: 1937–1949

chapter 29|5 pages

On Policy (1940)

ByMao Zedong

chapter 30|5 pages

The Program of the Human Rights Movement (1941)

ByZhou Jingwen

chapter 31|4 pages

Human Rights are the Basis of Constitutionalism (1946)

ByZhang Junmai, Carsun Chang

chapter 33|9 pages

Chinese Statements During Deliberations on the UDHR (1948)

ByP.C. Chang, Zhang Pengjun

part V|31 pages


chapter 34|5 pages

Rightist Statements (1957)

ByPu Zhongwen, He Shifen, Feng Guojiang

chapter 35|7 pages

A Discussion of “Human Dignity” (1957)

ByZuo Ai

chapter 36|10 pages

Do You Want to Be a Human Being? (1958)

ByYin Haiguang

part VI|60 pages

1976–1986, Including the Democracy Wall Movement

chapter 39|8 pages

Human Rights, Equality, and Democracy (1979)

ByWei Jingsheng

chapter 42|8 pages

A Rebuttal to the Critique of “Human Rights” (1979)

ByDu Guo

chapter 43|7 pages

How Marxism Views the Human Rights Question (1979)

ByXiao Weiyun, Luo Haocai, Wu Xieying

part VII|25 pages

The Late 1980s: Before and After Tiananmen

chapter 47|2 pages

Open Letter to Deng Xiaoping (1989)

ByFang Lizhi

chapter 48|2 pages

Declaration of Human Rights (May 1989)

chapter 49|8 pages

Who Are the True Defenders of Human Rights? (July 1989)

ByShi Yun

part VIII|124 pages

The 1990s

chapter 50|10 pages

Human Rights: Three Existential Forms (1991)

ByLi Buyun

chapter 51|12 pages

Prison Letter (1991)

ByWei Jingsheng

chapter 55|18 pages

Human Rights and Chinese Tradition (1992)

ByXia Yong

chapter 56|6 pages

Vienna Conference Statement (1993)

ByLiu Huaqiu

chapter 57|13 pages

Developing Countries and Human Rights (1994)

ByLiu Nanlai

chapter 58|4 pages

What Are Asian Values? (1998)

ByLiu Junning

chapter 59|10 pages

Declaration on Civil Rights and Freedoms (1998)

ByDing Zilin, Liu Mu, Jiang Qisheng, Jiang Peikun, Wei Xiaotao

chapter 60|13 pages

Freedom of Speech Is the Foremost Human Right (1998)

ByHu Ping