Seeking Happiness for People: 70 Years of Progress on Human Rights in China
In the course of reform and opening up, China has established and improved institutions for protecting human rights that are suited to its national conditions. A human rights protection system with Chinese characteristics has taken shape. The Chinese government has put into place a number of systems and mechanisms, including those dealing with subsistence allowances, the minimum wage, labor security supervision, labor dispute settlement, employment assistance, and compulsory education (primary and middle schools). With the promulgation of the General Principles of the Civil Law and Tort Liability Law, China has established a system of protection for the right to dignity. In addition, it has advanced household registration reform, and made consistent improvements to the election system, the community-level self-governance system, the system for transparency of government affairs, the litigation system and the system for intellectual property protection.
The third phase: The 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 marks the advent of a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China espouses the people-centered development philosophy, works hard to ensure and improve people's wellbeing, and continues to strengthen legal protection for human rights. As a result, the cause of human rights in China has made headway on all fronts.
In building socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, full respect for and protection of human rights is an important goal of China's endeavors to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This establishes the importance of human rights from a strategic perspective. The CPC Constitution amended and adopted at the 18th National Congress reaffirms the principle of respecting and protecting human rights. In 2014, the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee adopted the "Resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on Major Issues Concerning Comprehensively Advancing the Rule of Law", which emphasizes the need to "provide stronger judicial protection of human rights" and to "strengthen awareness throughout the whole of society about the need to respect and safeguard human rights." In 2017, the 19th CPC National Congress established Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guiding ideology of the CPC, and categorically stated that we should "strengthen legal protection for human rights to ensure that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms as prescribed by law." This provides fundamental basis for us to advance the cause of human rights in China.