‘China’s perception of rights differs from that of West’

April 21st, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by admin  

Beijing, April 21 (Xinhua) China has its own perception of human rights which differs from that of the western countries, said an expert here Monday. “China believes human rights like other rights are not ‘absolute’ and the rights enjoyed should conform to obligations fulfilled,” Luo Haocai, director of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, said at the inaugural Beijing Forum on Human Rights.

“China opposes separating rights from obligations,” he observed.

“The country believes that human rights not only refer to civil rights and political rights, but also include economic, social and cultural rights,” he said, adding “these rights are inter-related”.

In the past 30 years, China’s progress in economic and social welfare, education and culture are easily recognized, but big progress on the rights listed in International Convention on Civil and Political Rights were often ignored, he said.

Chinese have enjoyed unprecedented freedom and basic human rights, including religious freedom and political rights, he stressed.

“At the same time, China maintains that human rights are not only the rights enjoyed by individuals but also the collective body of them.

“The country values the protection of individual human rights but also the collective human rights, which is an important reason for China’s stability, social harmony and people’s freedom,” he said.

Wang Chen, director of the Information Office of the State Council, said “human rights development is a gradual process”.

“China is a developing country with a population of 1.3 billion and China’s human rights development still faces many problems and difficulties,” he said.

“To respect and protect human rights and promote all-round development of human rights is a long-term arduous task for the Chinese government and Chinese people,” he said.

During the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, the wording “respect and protect human rights” was, for the first time, incorporated into the party constitution. The party and the government have made the human rights issue the important aspect of China’s development.

“China will also, as always, make contributions to global human rights progress,” Wang added.

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