China never shuns human rights problems - expert

Updated: 2008-04-21 15:58

Despite achievements in China's human rights construction, the country has never shunned its existing human rights problems and has vowed to solve them, a human rights expert said in Beijing on Monday.

Luo Haocai, president of China Society for Human Rights Studies, speaks at the first Beijing Forum on Human Rights in Beijing April 21, 2008. [Xinhua]

"This year marks the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. China has made remarkable achievements in economic construction and great progress in human rights construction," Luo Haocai, the China Society for Human Rights Studies director, said at the inaugural Beijing Forum on Human Rights.

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"Chinese people's civil rights and political rights have been protected properly, but there are still some problems", said Luo.

"China's political and economic systems are not perfect; the democracy and the legal system are not complete, and urban and rural development are imbalanced.

"There are still problems in employment, education, medical care, housing, social welfare, income distribution, production safety and environmental protection."

He said China had never shunned these problems and had pledged to solve them through economic, social development and the continuous improvement of democracy and the legal system.

"On the contrary, some Western countries have always adopted a double standard on the human rights issue and condemned China and other developing countries, but turned a blind eye to their own human rights problems," he said.

The economic, social and cultural rights of Chinese citizens has enjoyed continuous development. China was extolled by the international community for its progress made in eradicating poverty and improving the living standard of people in poverty-stricken areas, Luo said.

The number of Chinese who didn't have enough food and clothing had dropped to 14.97 million in 2007 from 250 million in 1978, he noted.

The country also improved its judicial system to protect people's human rights and had made the "respect and safeguard of human rights" as an important principle in its constitution.

Since the Supreme People's Court took back the power of reviewing death penalties last year, the number of capital punishment case in the country had dropped, with half changed to a reprieve in the end, official statistics showed.

China also practiced a regional ethnic autonomy system to protect ethnic minority's rights to participate in administration of state affairs and affairs of their own ethnic groups, Luo said.

The Beijing Forum on Human Rights was opened Monday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Over 110 representatives from 32 countries and international organizations attended the forum.

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