China / Politics

China issues white paper on human rights

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-26 10:51

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BEIJING - The Chinese government on Monday released a white paper detailing the progress made in human rights in 2013, highlighting enhanced social fairness, justice and freedom of speech.

"China's progress in its human rights undertaking is there for everybody to see, and every unbiased and reasonable observer can draw a fair conclusion," said the white paper, published by the State Council Information Office under the title "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013."

The white paper, elaborating the government's achievements in improving people's right to development, said "China's development provides all Chinese people with the opportunities to develop themselves, serve society, make successes in their life and realize their dreams."

Aiming at promoting social fairness, justice and the people's well-being, the Chinese government comprehensively deepened the reform, promoted various undertakings in the economic, social and cultural fields, and safeguarded the people's rights to equal participation and development in 2013, the report said.

The people's living standards have risen steadily, as China continuously improves the urban and rural residents' clothing, food, accommodation, and transportation conditions, it said.

Although not very developed, China has put in place a social security system, which is the world's largest and suitable to China's current social conditions, the report said.

"Both urban and rural residents, especially people in straitened circumstances, can live in dignity, with their basic living conditions better ensured," it said.

"China's democracy and legal system have been further strengthened," the report said.

The country's rural and urban areas for the first time realized the same ratio of deputies to the represented population in the election to the National People's Congress (NPC) deputies in 2013.

China also took an important step forward in building a clean government, as it has restricted the use of power and cracked down on corruption.

The country has further upgraded its governance system and capacity. The exercise of power is more procedure-based, government work is more transparent, and public freedom of speech is better ensured, it said.

Internet has "dramatically" expanded the space of freedom of speech, the report said. "Internet has become one of the most important channels for the public to express its opinion."

Chinese netizens post and forward 250 million microblog messages and over 20 billion WeChat and other instant messages every day, figures from the report show.

China has abolished the system of reeducation through labor after more than 50 years of operation, and adopted multiple measures to curb the practice of extorting confessions by torture and prevent unjust, false and erroneous litigation, it noted.

China has continued to provide preferential policies for ethnic minorities, and made sure they can enjoy and exercise their rights according to law, the report said.

China has also accelerated the comprehensive development of various social, economic and human rights protection undertakings in regions inhabited by ethnic minorities, including the Xinjiang Uygur and Tibet autonomous regions.

Disabled people are in a better position to participate in social life as equals with their various rights well protected and an improved public service system in place, according to the report.

Striving to build "a beautiful China," the country has speeded up its ecological progress, increased financial input, strengthened environmental protection, punished environmental crimes, it said.

The Chinese government provided some 338.3 billion yuan in 2013 for conserving energy and protecting the environment, seeing a 14.2 percent year-on-year growth, according to the report.

"The pursuit of the improvement of human rights never ends, for there is always room for better human rights conditions," the white paper said.

"China is now reaching for a higher goal in its human rights undertaking," it said.

The report, however, noted that China is still a large developing country, with conspicuous problems of unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development.

Greater efforts are needed to bring higher standards to human rights protection.

The white paper is China's 11th report on human rights since the government began releasing such reports in 1991. The tenth report was released in 2013.


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