Rights of ethnic minorities well protected

Updated: 2011-09-21 16:17


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BEIJING- China accepts international norms for protecting rights of ethnic minorities and has drafted preferential laws and policies to safeguard their rights and boost their welfare, according to an official at the 4th Beijing Forum on Human Rights that opened  Wednesday.

Wang Ping, vice director of the policy and regulation department of State Ethnic Affairs Commission, said in an article filed with the two-day forum that China protects the equal rights of minority individuals as well as the collective rights of each minority group.

He said equality and freedom from discrimination form the basic principles for rights protection of ethnic minorities in the West. Some countries including the United States also laid out favorable policies for ethnic minorities, but the scale and degree of these policies are not comparable to China's.

In China it is easier for ethnic minority students to attend university, ethnic minorities families are exempted from the one-child birth planning policy, and legislatures reserve a set proportion of seats for ethnic minority representatives, the official said.

"Some Western democracies will find such policies hard to implement," Wang said.

Wang said rights of China's ethnic minorities are better protected by law because China's tradition emphasizes collective rights more than individual rights compared with the U.S. and other Western countries.

He said one of China's core ethnic policies is to bolster economic development of ethnic minority regions to realize the equal prosperity of all ethnic groups in China.

There are five autonomous regions, 30 autonomous prefectures and 120 autonomous counties in China. The five autonomous regions include Tibet autonomous region, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

The fourth Beijing Forum on Human Rights opened in Beijing on Wedensday with the focus on human dignity as well as on the diversity of culture and values.

Over 100 Chinese and foreign human rights experts are attending the forum.