British Minister for Africa, Asia and the United Nations Mark
Malloch-Brown has praised China for making progress in improving
citizens' economic and social rights over the past 30 years.
Malloch-Brown made his comments Thursday at a debate in the
British Parliament's Upper House, saying "China, since its
opening-up and reform in 1978, has lifted perhaps as many as 500
million people out of poverty."
"We need to applaud that," he said.
"China continues to score way above its per capita income level
in terms of the economic and social criteria because of the
improvements in life that it has created by lifting so many
hundreds of millions of people out of poverty," Malloch-Brown
"It has a value in terms of China's record on economic and
social rights that we sometimes underestimate," he added.
"China's accession to the World Trade Organization was a step
change in many areas of internal freedom and in the introduction of
at least pluralistic economic competitiveness into the Chinese
economy," he said.
Malloch-Brown argued that "institutional progress is often
ignored, but there are developments in China's legislative
framework to provide greater protection for the rights of its
"Let's acknowledge that ordinary Chinese people are now at much
greater liberty to choose where they live and work and have greater
rights to travel abroad," he said. "With this greater openness
comes a greater exposure to other people's ideas and cultures.
China's burgeoning economy offers them new choices and
"China's stability is vitally important both for us and for
global growth more generally," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 13, 2008)