Chinese people are now enjoying human rights more comprehensive and fuller than they have ever enjoyed in the past, said a white paper issued by the Information Office of the State Council on Wednesday.
The white paper, titled "Building of Political Democracy in China", said in March 2004, an Amendment to the Constitution was adopted by the Second Session of the 10th National People's Congress, which included the statement "the State respects and safeguards human rights" into the Constitution, thus ushering in a new chapter in the progress of China's human rights undertakings.
The white paper said the Communist Party of China (CPC) focuses on economic construction and has made tremendous efforts to realize the people's rights to subsistence and development.
After more than 50 years of hard work, two great historical leaps have been accomplished in people's life -- from being poverty-stricken to having enough food and clothing, and then to reaching the moderately well-off stage, said the white paper.
China's Constitution and law protect citizens' rights to freedom of religion, speech and press, and of association. Citizens' rights to property, reputation, personal name, honor, personal dignity and personal safety as well as the right to keep one's property from encroachment are also acknowledged and protected. said the white paper.
There are comprehensive stipulations in Chinese Constitution, laws and regulations on citizens' rights to labor, rest, gender equality, equal pay for equal work for men and women, intellectual property, social security, receiving material aid and education, marriage and divorce, as well as the right to engage and participate in scientific research, literature, art and other cultural activities.
The white paper said the legitimate rights and interests of the special groups of people, such as women, the aged and minors, and the underprivileged groups, such as the disabled, are guaranteed.
China has enacted the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Women, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Aged, the Law on the Protection of Minors and the Law on the Protection of the Disabled to provide special stipulations for the protection of special social groups, such as women, the aged and minors, and the underprivileged groups.
In China, people of all ethnic minorities, like citizens of the Han ethnic group, enjoy all equal civil rights specified in the Constitution and laws, and participate in the management of state and local affairs on an equal basis. Meanwhile, their rights are offered special protection protected by the laws and related policies, said the white paper.
The Chinese government pays serious attention to the positive role played by international conventions on human rights in promoting human rights. To date, China has joined 21 international conventions on human rights, and has adopted a series of measures to enable it to fulfill its obligations as specified in those conventions, the white paper said.