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Anti-China NGOs can't deny nation's growth, development
By:China Daily
update:February 16,2023
Editor's note: This is the first part of a review on the performance of China's implementation of the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (the Covenant) provides a useful lens for assessing efforts of the Chinese government in upholding economic, social and cultural rights in this big multiethnic country. We are of the view that the present efforts made by China have enabled Beijing to satisfactorily meet the requirements of the relevant provisions of the Covenant. In the first part of our review, we will focus on China's efforts to promote employment opportunities, maintain economic growth and improve livelihood issues. China should claim special credit for catapulting the ethnic minority regions to a prominent place on its socioeconomic development agenda.
All state parties of the Covenant are required to submit regular reports to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations. China became a state party in 2001. Consultative status provides designated NGOs with access to the Economic and Social Council of the UN. It is worthy of note that anti-China feeling has been implanted in the subconsciousness of some designated NGOs. For example, the submissions made by the Uyghur Human Rights Project, Human Rights Watch and other NGOs are intertwined with political intent to defame China and lack authenticity. We earnestly urge the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to scrutinize their submissions with the utmost zeal.
The adoption of a people's congress system is a key feature of the political system of China. According to China's Constitution, all the power of the country belongs to the people and they enjoy the right of self-determination. The principles of ethnic equality, ethnic unity and co-prosperity development of all ethnic regions have been adopted by China to solve ethnic problems and regulate interethnic relations.
The socioeconomic development of Tibet and Xinjiang autonomous regions has come to the forefront of our review. Before the peaceful liberation of Tibet, it had no roads. But Tibet is now well-connected by roads, railways and airplanes. Apart from the continuous extension of highways, the whole road system has reached 120,000 kilometers. Top development priority has been given to the educational sector. Thanks to the Three Package policy and the introduction of 15-year public-funded education, Tibet people spend an average of 9.55 years in schools. Medical and sanitation standards are also greatly improved. From 1959 to 2018, the population of Tibet increased from 1,228,000 to 3,438,200. Over 90 percent of the population is Tibetan. With the big increase in social security, life expectancy has increased to 70.6 years. In late 2019, 62,800 poor Tibet people were no longer labeled as poor people. Meanwhile, in Xinjiang, in 2019, the net disposable income of residents of towns and rural areas was 34,664 yuan ($5,081) and 13,122 yuan respectively. From 2014 to late 2019, 737,000 households and 292,300 poor people in the entire region were brought out of poverty. From late 2013 to 2020, the poverty rate decreased from 19.4 percent to 1.24 percent.
Xinjiang is now a strategically important link in China's Belt and Road Initiative. Internally, Xinjiang is well-connected by roads, highways, railways and airplanes. China will soon begin construction on an ambitious railway connecting Xinjiang and Tibet. It is highly likely that the new railway will further boost the economic development of Xinjiang and Tibet. In 2022, Xinjiang issued two ambitious plans to promote the high-quality development of women and children through 180 welfare measures. By 2020, all the poor residents in Xinjiang were no longer poor in accordance with the existing standards.
Relying on the nation's Constitution, the Law of Regional Autonomy for Ethnic Minorities in China, the Law on the Protection of Women's Rights and Interests, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, the Law on the Protection of Disabled Persons, the Mental Health Law and the Employment Protection Law, China has implemented anti-discriminatory policies in a comprehensive manner. It has also directed its mind to actively promote gender equality and protect the rights of special groups.
During the outbreak of the pandemic, China made progress in enforcing effective measures to stabilize the job market. In order to help small and medium-sized enterprises weather the storm, China introduced a series of tailor-made policies to help them maintain job stability and reduce financial burden. In 2020, thanks to the Unemployment Insurance Refund Scheme, 1.46 million enterprises got a refund of 22.2 billion yuan. It benefited 49.51 million workers. In 2022, newly created jobs in towns increased to 12.69 million because of the launch of enhanced measures to maintain job security.
Attention has also gravitated toward the online programs launched to provide employment opportunities and training courses for job seekers and workers. The "Spring Breeze Campaign", which helps facilitate recruitment, has been launched to mobilize various public employment agencies and human capital institutions to provide an online platform for the dissemination of job information and provision of job-matching services. The campaign promotes online recruitment, remote interviews, and execution of online contracts. It also tries to maintain equilibrium between supply and demand in the job market. In 2020, over 3.5 million Chinese people were registered trainees under an online real-name registration system.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has cultivated a reputation for restoring national economic development by exercising centralized control over anti-pandemic work and socioeconomic development. In 2021, China's GDP grew by 8.1 percent to 114.4 trillion yuan. At the same time, China has created a better economic structure and improved regional economic planning. The integration between the digital economy and real economy has been sped up.
Parallel to an improvement in their living standards, Chinese people have also benefited from a gradual increase in net disposable income. In addition to protecting the fruits of the anti-poverty campaign, China has made further efforts to provide basic elderly care, basic medical services and social relief to help more poor people escape the yoke of poverty. In a bid to improve the living environment for residents, renovation works have been carried out in 56,000 old districts.
In recent years, China's achievements in socioeconomic fields have reinforced the view that Beijing's record in implementing the Covenant is anything but mediocre. In actual fact, the record is above average. Over the past few decades, Xinjiang and Tibet have been witnessing positive changes and improvements in their infrastructure, healthcare, education and economic development. It hardly needs emphasizing that China's developmental model has prompted an outpouring of praise from many developing countries.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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