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China takes forward the human rights cause
By:China Daily
update:July 05,2021

A grand gathering celebrating the centenary of the CPC is held in Beijing, July 1, 2021. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/China Daily]
July 5, 2021 -- As the leading force of China's revolution, construction and reform, the Communist Party of China has stayed true to its original aspirations and mission throughout its 100-year history while not only protecting Chinese people's human rights but also leading them to develop human rights in line with the country's actual conditions.
To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dec 10, 2018, President Xi Jinping, also the general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, put forward the concept of people-centered human rights, and made clear the direction of China's human rights development in the new era.
According to the people-centered human rights concept, the right to subsistence and development is basic human rights-and living a life of contentment ultimate human rights-because without the right to subsistence, it would be impossible to realize the other rights. Also, only if a country enjoys healthy economic development can its people be assured of the right to subsistence. Which means economic development is the fundamental force driving the cause of human rights in China.
Yet human rights in China include not only material life but also spiritual and cultural life, not only basic human rights such as the right to subsistence and development but also economic, social, cultural, political and environmental rights, not only individual human rights but also collective human rights.
The people-centered human rights concept combines all-around development of human rights with all-around development of human beings. Since the beginning of this century, especially since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Party has attached great importance to promoting the comprehensive development of human rights and the all-around development of the people as an important task and strategic goal of the country's overall medium- and long-term development.
In the people-centered human rights concept, the building of a community with a shared future for humanity is the common goal of human society, because it would ensure everyone is equal and gets a fair share of the fruits of global development and governance, and lives with dignity.
Over the past 100 years, the CPC has led the Chinese people to overthrow the "three mountains" of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism, establish the People's Republic of China, complete the new democratic revolution and socialist revolution, implement reform and opening-up, advance socialism with Chinese characteristics into the new era, creating one miracle after another in the process.
The establishment of people's democracy has made the people the masters of the country, which is the essence of China's socialist democracy and helps the Party better safeguard people's civil and political rights. Based on the country's real conditions, the CPC has set up a State system comprising the people's congress system, the fundamental political system, the multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under its leadership, and the regional autonomy and grassroots self-governance system, so as to ensure that all powers of the country belong to the people.
The CPC has led the people in writing the Constitution, which, along with the State legal system, protects citizens' basic rights and freedoms, guaranteeing that people can participate in economic development on an equal footing and share the fruits of their labor.
Realizing that poverty is the biggest obstacle in people enjoying human rights, China began building a moderately prosperous society more than 40 years ago, so the Chinese people could lead a better life. Moreover, it is under the Party's leadership that China has lifted more people out of poverty than any other country in the world and contributed more than 70 percent to global poverty reduction.
Thanks to its substantial economic and social development, China has been protecting its people's right to life and health, which can be measured by the increase in the Chinese people's life expectancy. When New China was founded, life expectancy in the country was about 35 years, but by 2019, it had risen to 77.3 years, close to that of many developed countries. China has also built the world's largest social security system, which includes medical care, basic living allowance and old-age care, with 1.36 billion people being covered by its basic medical insurance by 2020.
And after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Party, true to its philosophy of putting people first, accorded the highest priority to protecting people's lives and health and achieved significant results in the fight against the pandemic.
As a big developing country with nearly one-fifth of the world's population and a unique cultural tradition, China, under the leadership of the Party, has achieved great successes and accumulated rich experience in promoting the cause of human rights.
There are no universally applicable human rights standards or models, and the development of human rights depends on a country's actual conditions. Due to different national systems, historical backgrounds, cultural traditions and social characteristics, the paths and models of human rights development vary from country to country. Therefore, no country has the right to play pedagogue when it comes to human rights protection, resort to double standard, or interfere in other countries' internal affairs on the issue of human rights.
By: Lu Guangjin, professor at Jilin University's School of Law, and secretary-general of China Society for Human Rights Studies
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