In debates concerning the Chinese record on human rights, Chinese officials have vehemently maintained that the issue of how human rights are implemented and enforced within the state is a matter wholly internal to the Chinese domestic jurisdiction. Accordingly, international human rights treaties stand only as policy goals and the way in which they are realized within a given sovereign state is beyond the purview of the international community. Thus, it appears that for the Chinese, the critical factor in determining the permissible scope of external oversight is the notion of ‘sovereignty’. Yet, by contending that human rights are an issue subject only to domestic authority, Chinese officials are doing more than simply asserting that the Chinese state is the only actor which may legitimately make laws and constitutional rules with respect to human rights in China. Rather, they are in fact suggesting that, irrespective of their international commitments to human rights standards, state sovereignty mandates that law-making in China ought not to be the subject of international scrutiny. In other words, except to the extent that it may impact upon the sovereignty of other states, China is not accountable to any external actors for its activities in the area of human rights regardless of their content, intentions or effects.