Spiral Theory has been used to explain the commitment and compliance of states to human rights, however, it has not been able to explain why large states with material power seem to be immune to human rights pressure. China has been a particularly hard case for the persistent power of human rights to triumph. Moreover, a new trend is emerging where due to China’s incredible economic power, it has been able to gain leverage over many states to change human rights legislation at the international level and avoid criticism of its human rights violations. This thesis focuses on the rule of Xi Jinping since 2013 and how his leadership has changed China’s engagement with the world. This thesis explores this international engagement by taking a legally based multidisciplinary approach in which it tests the explanatory power of spiral theory to see if the theory can still explain why states will comply or commit to norms developed by materially powerful authoritarian regimes. At the 19th National Congress of the CCP in October 2017, the strategic approach to China’s presence at the Human Rights Council was to block criticism of its domestic human rights violations and to promote Chinese interpretations of principles of sovereignty and human rights internationally. China is promoting its interpretations on human rights internationally. This multidisciplinary master’s thesis explores Chinese human rights and illustrate how the content of these rights are subservient to and guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. The thesis will not only engage in a discussion on the content of Xi Jinping thought and Chinese human rights, it will also draw from examples on the right to development in Hong Kong, Taiwan’s international struggle for the freedom of expression and minority rights in Xinjiang to illustrate how the Chinese interpretations of human rights are implemented domestically and internationally. It then shows how economic entanglement by states with materially powerful authoritarian regimes have a negative impact on human rights at the international level. Based on empirical evidence from the Human Rights Council this thesis will show how China has been able to change international law to benefit its own policies. The thesis identifies that Human Rights with Chinese Characteristics is not only a domestic set of norms but a global strategy to redefine the meaning of human rights. It finally identifies some major problems with Spiral Theories explanatory power, in that the theory does not identify a mechanism to manage materially powerful states or explain why rights respecting states choose to put economic interests over human rights pressure.