III-3 Question: In its annual World Report for 2006, the New York-based Human Rights Watch claimed that the "human rights conditions in China deteriorated significantly in 2006" due to the government's "stricter controls on the press, Internet, academics, lawyers, and nongovernmental organizations." Is that true? How should the changes in China's human rights situation be viewed?
A: This organization has been keeping a watchful eye on China for years but it has been biased. Therefore, it has reported on China's human rights situation for political purposes but not out of goodwill, with incorrect facts. If it truly wishes to help China in its human rights work, it should acknowledge and respect the progress China has made, and see China in a fair manner. Otherwise, it can never stop accusing China of a worsening human rights situation no matter how much improvement has been made.
Different countries have different national conditions, thus differences in regard to human rights issues are normal. China is willing to engage in dialogue and cooperation on human rights issues with other countries on the basis of mutual respect and equality. This is helpful for the international community to have a balanced understanding of the real situation in China. But China opposes any country imposing political pressure on other countries or interfering in their internal affairs on the pretext of human rights.
Over the past 30 years of reform and opening up, the Chinese people have made a historic leap in their life, from having only adequate food and clothing to being moderately well-off. They are enjoying unprecedented freedom of migration, employment, information, beliefs and choice in way of life. In 2006 China witnessed even broader progress in human rights. The Chinese Government has included human rights improvements in its development blueprint for 2006-10 and put the protection and promotion of citizens' civil and political rights on the top of the nation's nine priority objectives for development in the coming years, and corresponding institutional guarantees will be established. All this marked great progress in the country's human rights history.
China is the world's largest developing country. Due to various restrictive factors, such as huge population, limited natural resources and environmental burdens, no complete solution to human rights issues in China can be achieved by one single effort. In recent years, China has adopted a scientific approach to people-oriented, well-balanced and sustainable development, highlighting human values, freedom and rights, quality of life and happiness. China is attaching greater importance to social fairness, protection of the interests of disadvantaged groups, building of democracy and the rule of law and promotion of political reform. The inclusion of the provision that "The state respects and guarantees human rights" in the nation's Constitution is indicative of China's respect for human rights.