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Human rights gets top attention
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China is giving "unprecedented attention" to human rights, a top official said in Beijing Wednesday.

Speaking at a seminar to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, said human rights have become an important principle of the CPC and the Chinese government, especially since the country's reform and opening up 30 years ago.

"Respecting and protecting human rights has received attention never seen before," he said.

Luo Haocai, chairman of the China Society of Human Rights, said: "In the past 30 years we have witnessed rapid progress in China's human rights, and this will continue."

Wang said: "Currently, the priority is to guarantee people's rights to subsistence and development, and we must make sure that based on stable growth of the economy, every one is given those rights.

"Due to natural, historical, cultural, economic and social factors, there are still many problems and difficulties in the development of human rights.

"However, as China has put human rights high on the national development agenda, I firmly believe our society will become more harmonious with people enjoying better lifestyles and more rights."

Wan Exiang, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court and vice-chairman of the China Society of Human Rights, said the country's legal system fully respects human rights.

In the past five years, courts throughout the country have acquitted 14,000 people, and assigned lawyers for 320,000 others, to protect human rights while combating crime.

"It shows the great progress China has made in protecting human rights in the course of enforcing the law," Wan said.

Wang also called on global cooperation and dialogue in human rights.

"China will actively participate in the international protection of human rights, and make contributions to ensure the people's right to survive and develop in the world," he said.

(China Daily December 11, 2008)

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