China's protection of human rights differs from Western countries

Updated: 2008-04-22 09:47

Beijing -- A Chinese expert said Monday that the nation has its own road for human rights' development, which differs distinctly from those in Western countries.

After 30 years of development, China is on a path of human rights' development with Chinese characteristics. The country's protection of human rights was different from those in Western countries, Luo Haocai, the China Society for Human Rights Studies director, said at the inaugural Beijing Forum on Human Rights.

"China believes human rights like other rights are not 'absolute' and the rights enjoyed should conform to obligations fulfilled," he said, stressing "China opposes separating rights from obligations".

"The country deems human rights not only refer to civil rights and political rights, but also include the economic, social and cultural rights," he said, "these rights are inter-related".

In the past 30 years, China's progress in economic, social welfare, education and culture are easily recognized, but big progress in the rights listed in International Convention on Civil and Political Rights were often ignored, he said.

After 30 years of development, Chinese have enjoyed unprecedented freedom and basic human rights, including religious freedom and political rights, he stressed.

"At the same time, China maintains that human rights are not only the rights enjoyed by individuals but also the collective.

"The country values the protection of individual human rights but also the collective human rights, which is an important reason for China's stability, social harmony and people's freedom," he said.

Wang Chen, Information Office of the State Council director, said "human rights development is a gradual process".

"China is a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion and China's human rights development still faces many problems and difficulties," he said.

"To respect and protect human rights and promote all-round development of human rights is a long-term arduous task for the Chinese government and Chinese people."

During the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, the wording "respect and protect human rights" was, for the first time, inscribed into the Party Constitution. The Party and the government has made the human rights issue the important aspect of China's development.

"China will also, as always, make contributions to global human rights progress," Wang added.

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