Human Rights 

The Chinese government sets a high value on the World Human Rights Declaration, considering it to be the first international document which has put forward concrete specifications regarding respect for and protection of basic human rights in a systematic way, and forms a basis for practice in the field of international human rights. In addition, the Chinese government believes that while striving to realize the principle of universality of human rights, it is also necessary to take account of the concrete conditions of each country. As different countries adopt different social systems, with different economic development levels, different histories, cultures and traditions, they have different opinions on human rights, and should take different paths to realizing human rights.

Out of consideration of its own history and national conditions, and in accordance with its long-standing practice, China has formed its own viewpoints on the issue of human rights, and has worked out corresponding laws and policies. China’s human rights have three remarkable characteristics: First, extensiveness. All the Chinese people enjoy human rights, rather than a small number of people, or a part of the people of some classes and strata. In addition, the sphere of human rights enjoyed by Chinese citizens is extensive, including not only rights to subsistence, personal rights and political rights, but also economic, cultural and social rights. The state attaches great importance to guaranteeing personal rights, as well as to safeguarding collective human rights. Second, fairness. All Chinese citizens are equal before the law. All rights enjoyed by citizens as prescribed by the Constitution and the law shall not be restricted by money, property status, ethnic status, race, sex, occupation, family background, religious belief, education, or length of residence. Third, authenticity. The state guarantees the realization of human rights in terms of systems, law and materials. The rights enjoyed by the people in reality are identified with the citizens* rights prescribed by the Constitution and laws, hence winning  support from all ethnic groups, people of all strata, all political parties, all social organizations and all social circles in China.

To a country and a nation, human rights firstly mean the people’s rights to subsistence; and development is the basis for promoting and protecting human rights. Since the founding of the PRC, the Chinese government has always taken it as the most important and most urgent task to make people have enough to eat and wear, and has made unremitting efforts in this regard. Since 1979, China has adopted the policy of reform and opening to the outside world, with economic construction as the core, thus greatly promoting the development of the social productive forces. By the end of the 1980s, China had basically solved the issue of making the people have enough to eat and wear, thus basically solving the problem concerning the people’s rights to subsistence. Now China, full of confidence, is promoting reform and opening to the outside world in an all-round way, developing the national economy and helping people live better-off lives.

China participates in international human rights activities with an active attitude, having signed, approved and joined nearly 20 international human rights conventions, including the International Convention on Economic, Rocial and Cultural Rights, and the International Convention on Citizens Rights and Political Rights. The Chinese government has earnestly performed its duties as prescribed by these conventions through domestic legislation, and judicial and administrative measures, and submits reports on the implementation of the rules of these conventions to the supervisory and executive organs of the conventions regularly.

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Last updated: 2000-07-13.