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Special: Human Rights Day

Updated: 2010-12-10 16:42
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Special: Human Rights Day

China seeks int'l co-op on human rights

China is willing to strengthen cooperation with foreign countries on human rights, Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, said Thursday while meeting in Beijing with US delegates from the 2nd Sino-US Judicial and Human Rights Seminar.

Wang said although China and the US each have their own interpretations on human rights because of different political and social systems, and cultural traditions, the two countries can still show respect for each other and seek common ground by enhancing cooperation.

The annual seminar has been playing a positive role in promoting exchanges and cooperation since last year, Wang said, and he hopes it will continue to be a platform to gain more mutual understanding and more common ground.

The success of the seminar shows different views on human rights should not become an obstacle to strengthening communication and cooperation in the human rights field between China and US, said Stephen A.Orlins, president of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

The 2nd Sino-US Judicial and Human Rights Seminar was held on Dec 7-8 in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province.



Special: Human Rights Day


"We need to change some concepts about the improvement of human rights in China. If any developments cannot make people happy and cannot make people develop fully, the developments' goals are not comprehensive, and may be set without considering the element of human rights."

Zhang Xiaoling of the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC, Xinhua

“Now the governmental departments' most important task is to ensure the people's rights. Some people expect China to improve its human rights condition in one day, and I think that they are unrealistic, and some of them may have some sinister tricks."

Liu Jie of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Xinhua

“Deep influence happens when the protection of human rights becomes a mainstream and basic concept in China. The Scientific Outlook on Development, which is followed by the government, is in the same spirit as the principle of human rights."

Liu Huawen of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China Radio International

"No country can claim a 'best' human rights condition. The improvement of human rights must be carried out with consideration of the overall condition of the country."

"The task of improving human rights should always be carried out better but will never be best. All countries have to face different new challenges on human rights when they step into a new era, so making efforts on its improvement is long-term."

Zhang Wei of China University of Political Science and Law, China Radio International

Special: Human Rights Day

Jan 12

President Hu Jintao called for more efforts to probe cases of "power abuse, corruption and embezzlement, as well as dereliction of duty." At least 15 governor- and ministerial-level officials were removed last year for reportedly trading power for money. "Corruption from within is a major threat to the ruling party during peacetime," wrote Shao Jingjun, research fellow at the CPC's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Special: Human Rights Day

 Special: Human Rights Day

Feb 10

The ministries of human resources and social security, public health and education banned HBV (Hepatitis B virus) tests for school enrollment and recruitment on Feb 10, 2010. Government employees who discriminate against Hepatitis B carriers will face punishments such as warnings, degradations, and even firings, according to the joint notice issued by the ministries.


March 12

China's Information Office of the State Council published a report titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009" on March 12. The report criticized the United States for taking human rights as "a political instrument to interfere in other countries' internal affairs, defame other nations' image and seek its own strategic interests." 

Special: Human Rights Day

 Special: Human Rights Day

April 27

The Chinese government announced the lifting of the 20-year-old ban on entry for foreigners with HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and leprosy. According to a statement released by the State Council, after gaining more knowledge about the diseases, the government has realized that such a ban has a very limited effect in preventing and controlling diseases in the country. It has, instead, caused inconvenience for the country when hosting various international events. The revision comes days ahead of the opening of Shanghai World Expo.

May 14

China and the United States launched a two-day human rights dialogue in Washington on May 14. The two sides exchanged views on human rights

Special: Human Rights Day

achievements, multilateral cooperation on human rights and other issues. Since 1990, the two governments have held 14 rounds of dialogue on human rights.

 Special: Human Rights Day

June 24

China's highest court issued a regulation on June 24, 2010, banning the admission of confessions obtained through torture in criminal trials. The regulations focus on corroboration of physical evidence and human testimony in death penalty cases. The regulation states that in death penalty cases, all physical evidence for the prosecution and defense should be revealed, identified and open to question in court. Every item of evidence should be verified through legal procedures.


July 1

At least 18 provinces and municipalities, including big cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen, increased the minimum wage by an average of 20 percent, starting July 1, as officials hint that cheap labor may no longer be considered China's sole competitive edge. Jiangsu province was the first to increase its minimum wage this year, ushering in the beginning of a nationwide wave that will be followed by 27 provinces and municipalities by the end of the year. Statistics show that China's minimum wage is less than 15 percent of the world's average.

Special: Human Rights Day

 Special: Human Rights Day

July 29

The Chinese government published its "Outline of China's National Plan for Medium- and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020)" on July 29. The outline vows to spare no efforts to "run every school well and bring quality education to every student. No child shall be allowed to drop out due to family financial difficulties." It says that preschool education should be universal by 2020, and the nine-year compulsory education policy should be consolidated. It also sets the goal of eliminating illiteracy by the end of the decade.

Aug 23

The top legislature of China, the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, on Aug 23 began its first reading of an amendment to the Criminal Law, which proposes reducing the number of crimes subject to death penalty. China currently stipulates that 68 crimes are punishable by death. However, the draft amendment eliminates capital punishment for 13 economic-related non-violent offenses, a drop of 19.1 percent. The 13 crimes include smuggling out prohibited cultural relics, gold, silver, and other precious metals and rare animals and their products; falsely issuing exclusive value-added tax invoices to defraud export tax refunds or offset taxes; and teaching how to commit crimes, among others.

Special: Human Rights Day


Special: Human Rights Day

Sept 26

The Chinese government released on Sept 26 a white paper on human rights in China in 2009, highlighting the role of Internet freedom and the country's efforts in safeguarding citizens' legitimate civil and political rights. Chinese netizens' right to freedom of speech on the Internet was protected and the Internet has become a new channel for the Chinese government to gauge public opinion, and consequently improve its governance, says the white paper titled "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009."


Oct 10

Eight officials were removed from their posts or placed under investigation over a property row in East China's Jiangxi province that left an old man dead and two others injured after they set themselves on fire. The three burned themselves in protest on Sept 10, when they confronted workers who planned to demolish their house to make way for construction of a bus station in Fenggang township, Yihuang county.

Special: Human Rights Day


Special: Human Rights Day

Nov 9

The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, or the Cabinet, issued guidelines focusing on creating a government ruled by law, which requires officials and government staff to improve their ability to address "prominent problems" through legal means. The public was invited to participate in formulating the legislation. The State Council said it was "imperative" to build a government ruled by law, as China now faces serious challenges, including uneven development in urban and rural areas, a widening income gap that has contributed to increasing social conflict, as well as corruption and injustice in some areas of law enforcement.

Nov 19

China's State Council announced new measures to combat price hikes on Nov 19, and the efforts included imposing temporary price controls on important daily necessities and production materials when necessary, and urging local authorities to offer temporary subsidies to needy families. The State Administration of Grain will increase sales of grain supplies to meet public demand and stabilize market prices. The authority will also send groups of staff to major grain production regions to inspect and guide purchases of autumn grain and regulate business practices.

Special: Human Rights Day


Special: Human Rights Day

The Chinese government published its first working plan on human rights protection in April 2009, pledging to further protect and improve the country's human rights conditions in an all-round way. Full Text

Legislative efforts better protect human rights

Some key facts about China's efforts over the past year to protect human rights with its legal system: