China has made important contributions to the cause of human rights, and it
will continue to make efforts to promote all human rights, a senior government
official said in Geneva on Tuesday.
The Chinese people once suffered greatly from aggression by imperialist
powers, fighting among warlords, turbulence and poverty, and that is why they
are keenly aware of the value of peace, development and human rights, said
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
Addressing the inaugural session of the U.N. Human Rights Council, Yang said
the Chinese government had made great efforts to promote human rights and big
progress had been made.
"The founding of the People's Republic brought about a fundamental change in
China's destiny, ushering in a new era when the people have become masters of
the country," he said.
"Then in 1978, the country embarked on a path of reform, opening and
modernization, and in a short space of 28 years, China has completed a journey
that took many countries more than 100 years," he said.
The official said that since 1978, China had made two quantum leaps - from
languishing under poverty to freedom from want and then to moderate prosperity.
"As a result, the Chinese now enjoy unprecedented freedom in movement,
employment, access to information, beliefs, the choice of way of life, etc.," he
Yang said China gave high priority to realizing the value, rights and
freedoms of the people and raising the quality of their life, their development
potential and happiness index.
Greater efforts are also being made by the Chinese government in light of
China's move to promote social justice and protect disadvantaged groups, improve
democracy and the rule of law, and advance political reform in an active and
"We have solemnly put the provision that 'the State respects and protects
human rights' into the fundamental law of the country - the Constitution," Yang