|BRUGES, Belgium, June 29, 2018 -- China has remarkably improved its people's human rights in its own way, a Chinese think-tank chief told a high-profile seminar, held on Thursday in the Belgian city of Bruges.
The annual China-EU Human Rights Seminar, under the theme of Diverse Civilizations and Human Rights Protection, brought together nearly 60 specialists on human rights from Europe and China.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at College of Europe, Lu Guangjin, Secretary General of China Society for Human Rights Studies, said each country has its own civilization and the socialism with Chinese characteristics lies at the heart of the contemporary Chinese civilization.
He said the world is diverse and China has improved its people's human rights in its own way, stressing that Chinese citizens fully enjoy all basic rights.
Lu laid out five facts as the strongest evidence of China's achievements in protecting human rights.
The first fact is that a total of 728 million people in China have been alleviated out of poverty from 1981 to 2015, he said, citing data from the World Bank.
"The number is more than the total population in Latin American or European Union countries," he said, adding that China has launched the last battle and aims to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020, roughly 10 million each year.
The second fact is that China has created a unified national basic old-age pension system for both urban and rural residents, Lu said, highlighting that the basic medical care system has covered all citizens.
"The system is the largest of its kind in the world ... the average life expectancy in China has increased from 35 years before 1949 to 76.7 years in 2017, among the highest in developing countries," he said.
The third fact is that China's ranking in the Human Development Index (HDI) has leaped into the high human development group.
"According to the Human Development Report 2016 released by United Nations Development Program, China's HDI in 2015 ranked 90th among 188 countries and regions, already in the high human development group," he said.
The fourth fact is that China has formed a relatively complete legal system for human rights protection, he said, underlining that a total of 263 existing laws had been passed by China's top legislative body by the end of February 2018,
The fifth fact is associated with China's role in international human rights protection. To this day China has sent over 37,000 troops and police overseas to conduct peacekeeping operations, Lu underscored.
By the end of 2016, China had offered nearly 400 billion Chinese yuan (60.4 billion U.S. dollars) in aid and sent over 600,000 aid workers to 166 countries and international organizations, he added.
"The tremendous achievements made in the development of human rights in China fully reflect the basic spirit of respecting and safeguarding human rights in contemporary Chinese civilization," Lu said.
The annual seminar, launched by China Society for Human Rights Studies in 2015, has become a unique platform for China-Europe human rights communication.