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China to ratify UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at early date
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China will ratify the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights at an early date, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday at a press conference following the annual full session of the top legislature.

"We are trying to make domestic laws consistent with international laws," Wen said.

As to the accusation that China tries to increase its efforts to arrest individual dissidents prior to the Olympic Games, Wen said it is totally unfounded. "There is no such question at all."

"We are working actively to advance the reform in political system, including the reform in judicial system," said the premier.

The fundamental goal of advancing judicial system reform is to achieve judicial justice, Wen said.

Major steps have been taken in judicial reform. For example, the Supreme People's Court has taken back the power to examine and approve death penalty and has tightened restriction on the number of death sentences, Wen said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2008)

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