ABSTRACT

Equally, though, there is a sense in which human rights are inherently virtual. Like a rainbow, they can be perceived at a distance, but they are not actually tangible. Chapter 5 reached the disturbing conclusion that the more human rights are asserted in China, the more frequently they are violated, particularly in the area of lawyers attempting to defend constitutional rights. The most virtual of all rights in China are the constitutional rights: they exist quite clearly on paper, but their effects cannot be seen in reality. A discussion of a movement which aims to defend rights must, above all, address this contradiction.