VII. International Exchanges and Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights
China has all along been supportive to and actively participated in activities in the field of human rights sponsored by the United Nations. In 2004, Chinese delegation attended the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the Substantive Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and the Third Committee Meeting of the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. China sent specialists to attend the 56th Session of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. China has been elected a member of the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women from 2005 to 2008, and Chinese specialists have been elected into the 2005-2008 United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In the above organizations and meetings, China has sincerely carried out its duties, actively participated in deliberation and discussion of human right topics, upholding the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and making active efforts to promote international cooperation in the field of human rights.
The Chinese government cherishes the important role of international instruments on human rights in promoting and protecting human rights. As a member of 21 international conventions on human rights, including the "International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights," it has adopted a series of measures to perform its duties specified in the conventions, and submits on time its reports on implementing the conventions for consideration of the United Nations treaty bodies. With a sincere and responsible attitude, the Chinese government is actively considering approving the "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights." In 2004, China conscientiously wrote its Fourth and Fifth Combined Report on the "Implementation of Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment," giving an account of the implementation of the convention in China, including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region, from 1999 to 2004. It also conscientiously wrote its first reports on the implementation of the "International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights" and the "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography."
China has been actively involved in the formulation of legal instruments concerning international human rights. In 2004, the Chinese government sent delegations to participate in drafting legal documents such as the "Legally Binding Normative Instrument for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances" and "Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities."
China has actively conducted international cooperation in the field of human rights. Since it signed the "Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation" with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) in 2000, both sides have launched a series of projects of cooperation in human rights. In 2004, a UNOHCHR project assessment team visited China, and assessed its implementation of the "Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation." China also hosted the visit of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Commission on Human Rights. Together with the UNICEF's office in China, China held a seminar on the questionnaire of the UN Independent Expert on Violence Against Children, gave an honest, detailed answer to it, and submitted it to the United Nations. In December 2004, China submitted to the United Nations its answer to the questionnaire on child pornography on the Internet based on careful study.
China has continued to actively participate in and promote the activities of the second "Asia and Pacific Decade of the Disabled" (2003-2012). In 2004, the United Nations presented Deng Pufang, Chairman of China Disabled Persons' Federation, the "award of outstanding contributions to the 25 years of UN-China cooperation," commending his outstanding contributions to human rights. It represented full recognition of the international community for the persistent efforts China has made in promoting and protecting human rights and enhancing protection of the disabled in the world.
Based on equality and mutual respect, China has actively carried out bilateral dialogues and exchanges on human rights. In 2004, China held dialogues or consultations on human rights with Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands. It also conducted exchanges on this topic with Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Laos. China hosted the Sixth ASEM Informal Seminar on Human Rights, China-Africa Seminar on Human Rights, China-EU Seminar on the Ratification of the ICCPR, China-Australia Seminar on the Economic Development and the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic Minorities and Aborigines, and the Sixth China-Canada-Norway Human Rights Forum. In May 2004, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, in cooperation with the relevant Australian authorities, held the China-Australia seminar on protection of the human rights of detainees and prisoners, discussing about such issues as the function and role of procuratorial organs in protection of the human rights of detainees and prisoners. These dialogues and exchanges enhanced mutual understanding, reduced differences and expanded consensus between China and other countries on human rights issues. At the same time, non-governmental organizations also carried out active dialogues and exchanges. Chinese NGOs, such as China Society for Human Rights Studies, conducted wide-ranging exchanges and cooperation on human rights with the Project Assessment Team of UNOHCHR, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UNCHR, government and parliament delegations from Germany, Ireland, Egypt and Vietnam, as well as non-governmental organizations from various countries, which enhanced mutual understanding.
At the end of 2004, when the most serious tsunami in recorded history happened in the Indian Ocean, the Chinese government and people, out of deep sympathy with the suffering of the people of the afflicted countries, provided earnest help to the full extent of their capabilities for their disaster relief and rehabilitation, gaining wide appreciation at home and from abroad for their spirit of internationalism and humanism. The Chinese government offered emergency aid to the afflicted countries immediately after the disaster. By March 1, 2005, the Chinese government had offered 686 million yuan worth of aid, and the non-governmental donations amounted to 576 million yuan, in which over 50 percent of governmental aid in kind and cash had been delivered to the afflicted countries. The Chinese government also sent two international aid teams, four medical teams, a DNA analysis team and an investigation and consolation delegation. The three specialized post-disaster assessment and rehabilitation investigation teams sent to the stricken areas, having fully communicated with the governments of the countries, formulated focused plans for participation in rehabilitation. The Chinese government was also actively involved in international and regional cooperation in the early-warning mechanism for severe natural disasters, making its contributions to the better living and development of the world population.
Realization of full human rights is a common pursuit of all countries in the world. It is also an important target of China's all-round construction of a well-off, harmonious socialist society. Together with the international community, China will, as always, make persistent efforts in promoting continuous progress of human rights in China and healthy development of international human rights.