Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Human Rights
(2,719 words)

In the whole framework of its own cultural tradition, imperial China did not develop the concept of subjective rights, nor the concept of autonomous "man", acting as a bearer of rights, the same level being assigned to men and women, slaves and freemen, aliens and Chinese etc., and all being vested with the same dignity. Admittedly, the traditional Western human rights doctrine of positive right was not based on such a compreh…

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von Senger, Harro, “Human Rights”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 08 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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