CHINA / National

China to continue to promote human rights
Updated: 2006-06-21 09:45

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 said.

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 prudent manner.

"We have solemnly put the provision that 'the State respects and protects human rights' into the fundamental law of the country - the Constitution," Yang said.
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