Facts are there for all to see

Some Westerners are blind to the truth and deny China’s progress in human rights because of ulterior motives

China’s first national program on human rights development has been fully implemented in two years, according to a recent assessment report published by the Chinese government in the “National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010)”.

But disregarding the monumental progress that China has made in human rights, some Western people still criticize it for the human rights condition in the country. Since they do not provide facts to support their allegations, Chinese people have come to believe that they are driven by ulterior motives.

China’s human rights development road is compatible with its national conditions, and outside interference will never prompt it to change it. And why should it? Does it not nail the Western lie?

Given the varied levels of economic development, and differences in cultural traditions, social systems and other factors, different countries have different understandings of human rights and, therefore, their priorities for human rights are different.

The years 2009 and 2010 were the two most difficult that China has faced in recent times. The global financial crisis posed a serious threat to Chinese people’s livelihoods and the country’s efforts to protect human rights. The frequent natural disasters and the arduous disaster relief and reconstruction also challenged China’s efforts to protect people’s lives, properties and human rights.

Against this backdrop, the government adopted a series of countermeasures, including the 4-trillion-yuan economic stimulus package, to push forward projects related to people’s livelihoods and infrastructure construction. As a result, China was the world’s first major economy to emerge from the global financial crisis and substantially improve its people’s livelihoods.

Even while grappling with natural disasters, the government ensured that human rights were protected during the rapid and efficient mobilization of national resources for relief and post-disaster reconstruction. The present living conditions of people in the Wenchuan area, the epicenter of the May 2008 earthquake, and their economic development have reached or surpassed pre-quake levels. Similarly, post-disaster reconstruction in the areas ravaged by the Yushu earthquake and Zhouqu landslide last year has progressed well.

To create more new jobs and re-employment opportunities for working-age people, protect the legitimate rights and interests of laborers, and realize an overall coordinated employment arrangement for urban and rural areas, the first National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010) prompted the government to implement the Employment Promotion Law.

The action plan says the government is committed to creating an additional 18 million jobs in townships, transferring another 18 million rural workers, and keeping the registered unemployment rate under 5 percent. The assessment report says that over the last two years, about 22.70 million jobs have been created in townships and 19.30 million rural workers transferred, 26.1 and 7.7 percent more than the targets set by the action plan. By the end of last year, the registered unemployment rate in townships was 4.1 percent, below the 5 percent target set by the action plan.

On the legal front, the human rights action plan prohibits the use of torture to get forced confessions. The assessment report says China’s judicial bodies have already issued a document on collection of evidence in criminal cases to ensure that people’s rights are not violated.

In June 2010, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate jointly issued a document, stipulating that testimonies acquired through forced confessions or other illegal means cannot be used as evidence in court.

The action plan also requires China to improve the people’s congress system, improve its election system and gradually realize the election of urban and rural congress deputies in proportion to the size of the population. On March 2010, the National People’s Congress passed a resolution on the revision of the country’s Election Law, stipulating that urban and rural deputies be elected according to the size of the population they represent, the report says.

The wider representation of deputies to people’s congresses, together with the improved electorate bodies and procedures, will reflect the principle that all people, regions and ethnic groups are equal.

The full implementation of the action plan and the enormous progress China has made in human rights were possible because the development road the government followed suited the national conditions. The human rights development road adheres to reform, development and the rule of law to promote coordinated development of people’s political, economic, social and cultural rights.

Groundless accusations will not cause China to give up such an effective road of human rights development. On the contrary, the Chinese people will continue to travel further on this road for continuous development of human rights amid China’s advances in its modernization drive.

This road does not only suit China’s national conditions, but was also highly anticipated by the international community. In its review of human rights conditions in China, a United Nations Human Rights Council panel said in 2009 that the international community hopes China continues to protect and develop human rights, share with other countries its experiences in poverty reduction and development, and play a positive and constructive role on the international stage. It also encouraged Beijing to continue with the mode of human rights development, for it suits China’s national conditions.

But some Westerners still try to belittle or even ridicule China’s achievements on the human rights front. They do so not because something is wrong with human rights protection in China, but because they have their own political agenda and motives to fulfill.

The author is a writer with Xinhua News Agency.

Source: China Daily

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