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No losers as China grows
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-20 11:20

A booming Chinese economy does not pose a threat to other countries, according to an editorial in the English-language Beijing Review magazine. An excerpt follows:

Despite the sudden onslaught of the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic and large-scale floods last year, China's economy still climbed 9.1 per cent.

Voices resonated around the international community that China's increasingly expanding exports and large-scale raw material consumption would pose a threat to others.

Generally speaking, China is not an economic power, with its per capita gross domestic product only reaching US$1,000 - far less than developed countries.

While becoming an important global economic player after a quarter of a century's development, China's strong economic growth has greatly improved the living standards of its people, as well as assisted the development of Asian economies and the rest of the world.

This nation has changed from a closed society, with its emphasis on ideology, to an open one with a vigorous economy. What China brings to the world is practical co-operation, rather than threats and challenges.

China supplies inexpensive goods of excellent quality to the world and the rapid development of its home appliance and clothing sectors has greatly contributed to the recovery of the global economy.

With its huge population and massive consumer market attracting developed countries in their droves, China is a net import country of high technology, providing ample opportunities for developed countries to export high-tech and high-quality products.

Evidence shows that China's economic development is not a win-lose game, but one where all can come out on top.

'Sunlit cafes'

the way to go

The healthy development of Internet cafes requires more than sheer supervision, according to an editorial in China Culture News. An excerpt follows:

A recent Beijing news report claims that about 70 per cent of juvenile offenders in a local reformatory had frequented Internet cafes, and that 30 per cent of them had committed crimes because of the influences of online games or pornographic websites.

The assertion reveals a pressing need to strengthen the administration of Internet cafes.

A budding phenomenon that has existed in China for less than a decade, Internet cafes are much like a small child who is sometimes mischievous and needs discipline. But it should not end there.

Shi Ying, a law professor with Liaoning University, offered some viewpoints in this regard.

Apart from relentless punishment for irregularities at the Internet cafes, some interesting websites should be fostered to specially cater for children, she said.

The current form of administration, which bans adolescents from entering Internet cafes, is sound. But it would also be wise to set up some "green outlets" that only serve adolescents.

The spread of Internet cafes has provided convenience and entertainment for many. Statistics show that 80 per cent of "netizens" in small and medium-sized cities are only able to access the Internet in cafes.

But governments would be justified to shut down unlicensed cafes and be vigilant against violent and pornographic online information. However, a blanket ban on Internet cafes would be like stopping eating for fear of being choked.

The key issue is to explore an effective way to administer the market and create an environment where Internet cafes can grow "healthily."


human rights

An amendment to the Constitution protecting human rights will exert a huge influence over the country's social and economic development, a human rights expert told China News Agency. An excerpt follows:

Adding "the State respects and safeguards human rights" to the Constitution will greatly impact the nation's administrating philosophy, economy and culture, according to Lin Bocheng, vice-chairman of the China Human Rights Development Foundation.

The constitutional change, which was approved last weekend during the annual session of the 10 National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body, will entail the legislation or revision of a series of laws.

The legislative efforts need to pay attention to laws on such issues as property rights, liability for the infringement of rights, social insurance, social relief and labour contracts.

As the amendment expands "human rights" from a political concept to a legal one, the government, the Party and judicial departments are now obliged to respect and protect human rights.

Given there is no special State organ to handle human rights issues, organizations focusing on the development and protection of human rights are expected to be set up within the NPC, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - the country's top advisory body - and the government.

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