Technology and cultural relativism : social credit system, human rights, and the rule of law in China

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Gavazzi, Simone
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By the end of 2020, in China, every action done by its 1.4 billion citizens will be recorded in a score that can be looked up by everyone online. This project is called Social Credit System and, it represents an expansion of the credit systems which already exist around the world. Depending on their score, citizens can be awarded or punished. Awards include fast-tracked visa application, preferential treatment at hospitals, fewer taxes or priority during bureaucratic paperwork for instance, while punishments involve lower internet speed, denial of job application, loans and visas. Although the system has received significant support from Chinese citizens, it has received many criticisms from the Western world. According to Chinese officials, the system is understood as a tool for improving internal security and the market economy. However, it is not clear to what extent the system protects human rights and the rule of law. Moreover, since it entered the United Nations, the People’s Republic of China has drastically changed its attitude. Therefore, the research analyses whether the Social Credit System is compatible with international human rights standards and with the principle of the rule of law. The essay will address the question surrounding the universality of human rights and regarding the understanding of the principle of the rule of law.
Second semester University: Lund University
technology, human rights, China, rule of law, cultural relativism