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China Holds Major Human Rights Exhibition in Beijing
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A major human rights exhibition kicked off in China's capital on Friday, showcasing the country's efforts to protect human rights.

The ten-day exhibition, the largest of its kind ever held in Beijing, features more than 700 pictures, 250 legal documents, 330books on human rights and 24 diagrams.

Organizers said the exhibition "truthfully records China's efforts to promote and safeguard the people's right to life and right to develop and, more broadly, their political, economic, social and cultural rights."

The exhibition, inside the Museum of Culture Palace of the Nationalities in downtown Beijing, has three sections: China's general human rights progress in the past century, the freedom of speech and press, the rights protection for the women, children, and the ethnic minorities.

"We hope the exhibition will give people a more comprehensive and objective understanding of human rights in China, a clearer picture of how human rights have developed in the Chinese context and more confidence in China's commitment to human rights as it builds a socialist harmonious society," said Cai Wu, director of the Information Office of the State Council, at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

The exhibition focuses on rags-to-riches stories, backed by statistics, of Chinese people under the governance of the Chinese Communist Party, and elaborates on increased protection of people's political rights and freedom of speech.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is also 15 years since China issued its first white paper on human rights.

Organizers hope to use the exhibition to showcase China's human rights protection and to refute overseas criticism of its human rights record.

"The exhibition reflects China's recognition of and respect for the UN bill on human rights and basic international human rights principles," Cai said.

Li Dechang, a worker in his 50s from eastern Jiangsu Province, said he was on business trip to Beijing and happened to pass by. "I would never have thought so many things were on the show. I'm going to jot them down and try to learn what human rights is exactly," he said.

"I read some of these in books and newspapers in the past, but did not try to understand them in the perspective of human rights protection," said Fan Bin, a sophomore student of China University of Political Science and Law, when browsing through the exhibits.

Dong Yunhu, vice chairman of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, said he believed the exhibition would help promote human rights in China and meanwhile boost exchanges between China and the outside world.

"It's a window through which both domestic and foreign audiences can view China's human rights progress," Dong said.


(Xinhua News Agency November 17, 2006)

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