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Monday, April 09, 2001, updated at 10:48(GMT+8)

China Better Protects Economic, Social, Cultural Rights of Citizens

China has made more efforts and achieved new progress in protecting the economic, social and cultural rights of citizens, says a white paper issued Monday.

The white paper, namely "Progress in China's Human Rights Cause in 2000", was released by the Information Office of the State Council.

The paper says that by the end of last year, employees in the country totaled more than 710 million, an increase of 5.64 million over the previous year. Some 3.61 million workers laid off by State-owned enterprises found new jobs.

The Chinese government launched a three-year program last year to better solve the employment of rural labor, which includes overall planning of urban and rural employment since 2000, retraining rural workers, promoting employment of rural labor force in the western areas, and encouraging migrant workers to start their own businesses in their home villages.

The white paper says that the government guarantees workers' right to get payment for labor and increase of wage. The wages of workers in cities and towns totaled 8,346 yuan per capita in 1999, up by 13.1 percent compared with that of the previous year, allowing for price fluctuations.

All provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, except Tibet, have established and improved a minimum-wage guarantee system by the end of last year.

The white paper says that China has basically established a social security system which covers basic pension insurance, basic medical insurance and unemployment insurance for workers in cities and towns. The government also upgraded the level of basic living guarantee for laid-off workers from State-owned enterprises, level of unemployment insurance, and the level of minimum standard of living for urban residents.

The government has increased substantially expenditure of social security in 2000. The central finance alone paid 47.8 billion yuan, a growth of 86 percent over 1999.

The white paper says that China has increased investment in education to create more favorable climate for citizens to exercise their right to receive education. The education funds have increased at an average annual rate of 15.56 percent during the past five years, higher than the growth rate of the national economy.

China has basically ensured a nine-year compulsory education for children and eliminated illiteracy among people who were born since 1949.

In China, more than 90 percent of its 1.2 billion people have accesses to radio and TV broadcasting. China has the largest number of cable television users among all countries, which amounts to 79.2 million.

China has established a three-dimensional communications network, which is the second largest one in the world, linking the whole country with the rest of the world.

The Internet surfers have risen to over 22.5 million from 10,000 in 1994, when China joined the Internet network. Currently China has more than 27,300 websites.

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China has made more efforts and achieved new progress in protecting the economic, social and cultural rights of citizens, says a white paper issued Monday.

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