Human Rights in China. Historical Evolution of a Concept: 1899-1998 - After the repression of the pro-democracy movement in Tian’An Men Square in 1989 by the Chinese army, human rights have become a controversial issue for the People’s Republic of China. In 1991, the Chinese government decided to publish the White Book on Human Rights, the first official document where China recognised human rights as a fundamental legal institution of the People’s Republic. Starting from the analysis of the attitude of the Chinese government towards human rights, this paper aims at verifying whether a concept of an undoubted Western origin can be adapted and be relevant in a different cultural and political context. The method of inquiry is the historical reconstruction, which allows to analyse the process of translation of human rights in Chinese characters as well as the practical application of the concept in the socio-political and legal Chinese context.