The year 2004 is an important year for China in building a well-off society
in an all-round way. It is also a year that saw all-round progress in China's
human rights undertakings.
In that year, China expressly stated in its Constitution that "The state
respects and safeguards human rights," further manifesting the essential
requirements of the socialist system. The Chinese government pressed forward on
promoting administration according to law in an all-round way. It promulgated
the document "Outline of Full Implementation for Promoting Administration
According to Law," which clearly states that China must basically realize the
goal of establishing a government under the rule of law after making sustained
efforts for about 10 years. A series of effective measures were adopted to
standardize and restrain administrative power, and to safeguard and protect
citizens' rights and interests. The Communist Party of China (CPC) adopted the
"Decision on Strengthening the Party's Governing Capability," which stresses
that state power should be exercised in a scientific and democratic manner
within the framework of the law, and that human rights should be respected and
In 2004, China adhered to the scientific view of development by putting
people first, and made every effort to build a harmonious society. New progress
was achieved in its reform, opening-up and modernization drive. Along with
continuous economic growth, more democratic practices were seen in the political
arena, and the society progressed in a comprehensive way. Further improvements
were made in people's living standards, and China's human rights conditions were
continuously improved and developed in all fields.
China is a developing country, and its human rights conditions are in a
process of sustained development and perfection. The Chinese government pays
special attention to respecting and safeguarding human rights. It will take
effective measures to promote the development of human rights and to raise the
level of human rights and basic freedom enjoyed by the Chinese people.
To help the international community toward a better understanding of the
human rights situation in China, we hereby present an overview of the
developments in the field of human rights in China in 2004.