China completed its third UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process on March 15, getting recognition for its human rights achievements from the international community.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, during which remarkable historical changes have taken place in the economy and society, as well as in the comprehensive and unprecedented progress of human rights.
Since the People's Republic was founded 1949, the Chinese people have been enjoying the right to manage state and social affairs, including the right to vote and run for office, education, and social security. The first Constitution promulgated in 1954 guaranteed Chinese peoples' human rights in legal form.
By 2020, a great undertaking will be completed when poverty is eliminated across China. Some 740 million people have already been rid of poverty by far. In addition, China has built the world's largest educational, medical and social security systems along with grassroots democracy.
The country's efforts to promote human rights are recognized worldwide. Several authoritative international polls show that China has become one of the most dynamic and safest countries in the world, with one of the highest satisfaction ratings among its people.
China has been unswervingly committed to socialism with Chinese characteristics, which has been a key to the progress in its human rights. China adheres to a people-centered vision of human rights, considers the rights to subsistence and development as primary and basic human rights, and works for coordinated development of people's economic, political, social, cultural and environmental rights.
President Xi Jinping pointed out that with development as a priority, the open and popular concepts of human rights implemented by the government strive to maintain social fairness and justice and promote the all-around development of people under the principles of laws. He made the statement in a congratulatory letter to a symposium marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Beijing on December 10, 2018.
The Chinese Government has always regarded the happy and good life of its people as the top human right, a goal reiterated by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012. Focusing on solving real problems in peoples' lives, China's level of human rights has reached a new high as a result of the improvement of peoples' livelihood, strengthened rights guarantees and an enhanced sense of happiness, fulfillment and security. The Chinese people today are enjoying broader human rights than at any other time in history.
However, some countries and nongovernmental organizations questioned China's progress in human rights.
China welcomes all recommendations that are consistent with the realities and conducive to advancement. But baseless accusations against China are counterproductive. It is unacceptable if human right is used as an excuse to interfere in China's internal affairs, or undermine the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
For example, setting up vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was slandered as a violation of human rights, while these educational institutions are providing housing and training for people who were influenced by extreme religious ideas but did not commit a crime yet.
Hence, the vocational education program is helpful for them to master skills for future careers. At the same time, terrorist activities are being eliminated at their initial stage. Representatives from different fields in different countries, like officials, journalists, scholars and religious figures, were invited to visit the centers, and all affirmed their appreciation of the practice.
It cannot be denied that problems still exist despite progress in China's human rights, including gaps of education and economic development between urban and remote areas. The country has been continuously working on filling these gaps.
The Chinese Government is willing to listen to advices from the international community in hopes of improving its human rights situation. Some 284 recommendations, or 82 percent, were accepted based on national conditions after 346 were studied one by one in detail during the UPR process, the highest number and percentage among major countries.
Xi iterated the Chinese people will work with all countries to uphold the common values of humanity, which are peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, so as to safeguard human dignity and rights, promote fairer, sounder and more inclusive global human rights governance, and build a community with a shared future for humanity.
China's level of human rights has reached a new high as a result of the improvement of peoples' livelihood, strengthened rights
Copyedited by Rebeca Toledo
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