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This volume contains the papers which were presented at a symposium on human rights, held in September 1994 in Beijing and organized within the framework of an academic programme of co-operation between the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences. The focal point of most of the papers is the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action - adopted during the 1993 Vienna World Conference on Human Rights - which, from the perspective of particularly the Chinese participants, is considered as marking a new beginning in the field of human rights. Taking the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action as a point of departure the following main themes were the subject of discussion at the symposium and are more or less similarly reflected in the present volume: universality versus particularity; individual rights versus collective rights; national sovereignty and matters of international concern; and ratification of international treaties.