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Monday, April 09, 2001, updated at 15:26(GMT+8)

Full Text of White Paper on China's Human Rights (I)

The Information Office of the State Council issued Monday April 9, a white paper on China's human rights cause in 2000. The following is the full text of the white paper entitled Progress in China's Human Rights Cause in 2000:

The year 2000 was a year of milestone-like significance in the course of China's development along modern lines, and also a year that witnessed continued advance in China's human rights cause. In 2000, the Ninth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development was successfully completed, the development of the western region got off to a good start, the economy developed in a healthy way, the democratic and legal systems were continuously strengthened, and the human rights situation maintained a good momentum of development.

I. The Improvement of the People's Rights to Subsistence and Development

The Chinese government continued to put the safeguarding and promotion of the people's rights to subsistence and development on the top of its agenda, and spared no effort to develop the economy, enhance the comprehensive national strength and improve the people 's access to subsistence and development. In 2000, China rid itself completely of the influence of the Asian financial crisis, the national economy began to reverse the sliding trend, the growth rate obviously went up, and the GDP reached 8,940.4 billion yuan, breaking through the US$1,000 billion mark for the first time, marking an increase of 8.0 percent over the figure for the previous year. At the same time, the GDP per capita exceeded US$ 800, overfulfilling the task of quadrupling 1980's GNP per capita, and successfully realizing the second-step strategic objectives of the modernization drive. In 2000, China's overall import and export volume reached US$474.3 billion-worth, or an increase of 31. 5 percent over that of the previous year. At the end of 2000, the state foreign exchange reserve reached US$165.6 billion, or an increase of US$10.9 billion over that at the beginning of 2000. To date, China's GDP has increased from the 11th in world ranking in the 1970s to the seventh. In the 1970s, the total import and export volume and foreign exchange reserve ranked 32nd and 39th, respectively, in the world, but now they rank eighth and second, respectively. China ranks first in the world in the output of major industrial and agricultural products, such as iron and steel, coal, cement, chemical fertilizer, TV sets, grain, cotton, meat and aquatic products. With sufficient commodities, China's effective supply ability has been greatly improved.

The income of urban and rural residents has gone up steadily, and their standard of living has continued to improve. The Chinese people nationwide have jumped from the stage of having enough to eat and wear to that of living a better-off life. In 2000, the disposable income per urban resident came to 6,280 yuan, or an increase of 6.4 percent over that of the previous year, in real terms; the net income per rural resident reached 2,253 yuan, or a growth of 2.1 percent over that of the previous year, in real terms. During the Ninth Five-Year Plan period (1996-2000), savings deposits of urban and rural residents more than doubled, and by 2000 had topped 6,400 billion yuan, or an increase of more than five times compared to what it had been eight years previously. The consumption level has been constantly improved, and the average annual growth rate of the volume of total retail sales of consumer goods during the Ninth Five-Year Plan period reached 10.6 percent.

The structure of consumption has been optimized: The proportion of the expenditure for clothes, food and daily necessities has decreased by a large margin, and the proportion of the expenditure for housing, communications and telecommunications, medical and health care, culture, education and recreation has gone up rapidly. In 1999, the consumption expenditure of urban and rural residents, excluding that for clothing, food, housing and daily necessities, made up 29.3 percent and 21.6 percent of their total consumption expenditure, respectively, or an increase of 8.2 percentage points and 6.2 percentage points, respectively, over the figures for 1995. In 2000, the Engel's coefficient of urban residents (the proportion of food expenditure in the total consumption expenditure) was about 40 percent, or a drop of close to 10 percentage points from that in 1995, and a decrease of 18 percentage points from that in 1978. Meanwhile, the Engel's coefficient of rural residents was about 50 percent, or a decrease of about 8 percentage points from that of 1995, and approximately 19 percentage points lower than that of 1954. As for food consumption, grain consumption has decreased, and that of aquatic products, meat, domestic fowls, eggs, milk and other foodstuffs related to domestic animals has increased substantially. At present, for every 100 urban households there are 116.6 color TV sets, 90.5 washing machines, 86.7 refrigerators, and 30.8 air- conditioners -- close to the level of developed countries. For every 100 rural households there are 38.24 color TV sets, 24.32 washing machines and 10.64 refrigerators, increases of 21.32, 7.42 and 5.49, respectively, over the figures for 1995. Not so long ago, almost no Chinese family owned a household computer, video camera, microwave oven or VCD player. In 1999, however, for every 100 urban households there were 5.91 household computers, 1.06 video cameras, 12 microwave ovens and 25 VCD players.

Housing conditions have been continuously improved. The living space per urban resident increased from 8.1 sq m in 1995 to 9.8 sq m in 1999; and the living space per rural resident grew from 21 sq m to 24.2 sq m. In 2000, 510 million sq m of floor space of urban residential buildings were completed; and the construction of rural residential buildings totaling a floor space of 850 million sq m was completed. Hence, housing conditions have been further improved.

While improving the people's living standards across the board, the Chinese government has attached great importance to ensuring that poverty-stricken people have enough to eat and wear. Since the initiation of reform and opening-up in 1979, China has engaged in a large-scale, development-oriented aid-the-poor drive nationwide in a planned and organized way. By the end of 2000, the incidence rate of poverty in rural areas had dropped from 30.7 percent in 1978 to about 3 percent. The net income per farmer in the 592 poverty-stricken counties at the top of the state aid-the- poor agenda, increased from 648 yuan in 1994 to 1,348 yuan in 2000. More than 97 percent of the townships in the poverty-stricken areas nationwide are now accessible by bus and have electricity; and 98 percent of such townships have small hospitals. The problem of ensuring that the poverty-stricken people have enough to eat and wear has basically been solved, and their quality of life has been greatly improved, forming a striking contrast with the situation worldwide in which the absolutely poverty-stricken population keeps increasing. The UN Development Program holds that China's achievements in the development-oriented aid-the-poor work have provided a model for the developing countries, and even for the whole world.

Medical care and the physique of the people have constantly improved. At the end of 2000, China had 325,000 medical centers (including clinics), 3.18 million hospital beds and 4.49 million medical personnel. Some 89.8 percent of villages had medical centers, with 1.32 million rural doctors and other medical personnel. Meanwhile, physical culture has developed vigorously, a nationwide health-building drive has been launched, and the physique of the Chinese people throughout the country has improved greatly. In the past three years, the State Administration of Sport and all the provinces, autonomous regions and centrally administered municipalities have invested in the construction of nearly 10,000 special health-building outlets. In addition, China has constructed a total of 1,939 health-building projects for the whole people. All these have provided favorable conditions for the launching of the health-building drive across the country. In 2000, the Chinese government set up a people's physique monitoring system, planning to include the people's physique monitoring targets in the state's comprehensive social development appraisal targets. China has mounted the stage of world sport in all its sectors and joined the front ranks of sports internationally. At the 27th Olympic Games, held in 2000, Chinese athletes won 28 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 15 bronze medals, ranking China third in the world at the Sydney Olympics. In domestic and international games in 2000, Chinese athletes won 110 world championships, and 14 athletes and two teams chalked up a total of 22 world records on 30 occasions.

The drastic improvement of the people's living standards has greatly raised the level of the people's health. The death rate of the Chinese population decreased from 33 per thousand before 1949 to 6.46 per thousand in 1999. The people's life-expectancy on average was raised from 35 years before 1949 to 71.8 years in 2000, or 10 years longer than that of the developing countries and reaching the level of the moderately-developed countries.

II. The Guarantee of Citizens' Political Rights

China has actively promoted the building of democracy and the legal system, constantly perfected the people's congress system and the multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and made great efforts to strengthen the building of democracy at the grass-roots level and earnestly safeguard citizens' political rights.

The people's congress system is China's fundamental political system. All power in China belongs to the people. The organs through which the people exercise state power are the National People's Congress (NPC) and the local people's congresses. The NPC is the supreme organ of state power. It decides state policies and principles, and exercises the state legislative power. Since the Third Session of the Ninth NPC, the NPC and its Standing Committee have examined 30 proposed laws, of which 18 have been approved. The Legislation Law of the People's Republic of China, promulgated for implementation in 2000, is an important law concerning the state legislation system, and is of great significance in perfecting that system, safeguarding its unification, setting up and improving the law system with Chinese characteristics and promoting the building of democracy and the legal system.

The NPC and its Standing Committee have vigorously reinforced the implementation of the laws and the supervision over the administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs, and notable results have been achieved. In 2000, the NPC Standing Committee organized a law-enforcement inspection group, which has checked the implementation of four laws, such as the Criminal Procedure Law and the Organic Law of the Urban Neighborhood Committees, thus effectively supervising the implementation of these laws. The NPC Standing Committee supervises the work of the State Council, Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate by various means, such as inspection, law-enforcement examination, and hearing and deliberating work reports. To strengthen the supervision of the budget and economic work, the NPC Standing Committee adopted the Resolution on Strengthening the Examination and Supervision of the Central Budget in February 1999, and the Resolution on Strengthening the Supervision of Economic Work in March 2000. In addition, the NPC Standing Committee is working out a Supervision Law. Deputies to the NPC have increased their enthusiasm for participating in the exercise of state power. At the Fourth Session of the Ninth NPC held in March 2001, the deputies raised 1,040 proposals, a record number since the Sixth NPC.

The multi-party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the CPC is an important component of China 's democratic political system. The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) consists of representatives of the CPC, democratic parties, personages without party affiliation, people's organizations, ethnic minorities and other walks of life, as well as representatives of compatriots from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, returned overseas Chinese and specially invited individuals. Hence, the CPPCC has extensive representation. The committees of the CPPCC at all levels and the democratic parties are playing a more and more important role in political consultation, democratic supervision, and participation in the deliberation and administration of state affairs. Now the chairmen of the central committees of the eight democratic parties, the chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and 13 other people from the democratic parties, personages without party affiliation and non-Party personages from all walks of life, totaling 22, serve as vice-chairmen of the NPC Standing Committee or vice-chairmen of the CPPCC National Committee. Twenty-seven democratic party personages and personages without party affiliation serve as vice-governors, vice-chairmen, vice-mayors or assistants in the country's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and centrally administered municipalities; nearly 10,000 democratic party personages and personages without party affiliation hold leading posts in the governments, government departments and judicial organs at or above the county level; more than 140,000 democratic party personages and personages without party affiliation have been elected deputies to the people's congresses at different levels; and more than 220,000 democratic party personages and personages without party affiliation are members of the CPPCC committees at different levels.

In 2000, the CPPCC National Committee actively participated in the deliberation and administration of state affairs, offered advice and suggestions, organized CPPCC National Committee members to make special investigations and inspections of a number of important issues concerning economic and social development during the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005), held special forums and symposiums, and submitted to the CPC Central Committee more than 10 reports, such as Opinions on Promoting the Readjustment of the Economic Structure During the 10th Five-Year Plan Period, and the Proposal on the Need for the 10th Five-Year Plan to Embody Systems Innovation, thus providing important reference material for the state's formulation of the Outline of the 10th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development. On the basis of special research, the CPPCC National Committee has raised many opinions and suggestions to the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on implementing the strategy for the all-out development of the western region, speeding up the project to divert water from the south to the north, perfecting the social security system, quickening the reform of the distribution system, promoting the building of communities, deepening the reform of the judicial system, and guaranteeing judicial fairness and social stability.

The channels for the CPPCC committees at all levels, all democratic parties and all personages without party affiliation to engage in democratic supervision have been further widened. Now, tens of thousands of democratic party personages and personages without party affiliation serve as special advisors to the people' s procuratorates, and to supervision, auditing, education, land resources, taxation, personnel and public security departments, participating in legal and administrative supervision. Members of CPPCC committees at all levels reflect the opinions and demands of the masses of all walks of life and exercise their right to democratic supervision through discussing significant issues, criticizing the work of state organs and their work personnel, making suggestions and other means. In 2000, members of CPPCC committees throughout the country attended the symposiums on strict, fair and civilized law enforcement held by the public security organs, more than 130,000 person-times, and inspected public security organs 11,000 person-times, thus playing a powerful supervision role in impartial law enforcement.

Building democratic politics at the grass-roots level in rural areas with democratic election, decision-making, administration and supervision as the basic contents has been promoted in an all- round way, and developed steadily. Since the implementation of the Organic Law of the Villagers' Committees, which was revised in November 1998, the building of the systems of democratic election, discussion of village affairs by the villagers themselves, and making village affairs public has been constantly improved. Twenty- three provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China have worked out the new electoral procedures for the villagers' committees; 17 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have adopted the measures for implementation of the Organic Law of the Villagers' Committees; many cities and counties have worked out the implementation guidelines for villagers' self-government work; and almost all villages have formulated or revised their village regulations and agreements, and regulations on villagers' self-government. The villagers' committees in 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have been re-elected with some 600 million farmers participating directly in the elections, representing an attendance rate of more then 80 percent. The villagers' self-government level as a whole has markedly improved. Meanwhile, making township political affairs public has been promoted in an all-round way. Since 2000, 35,000 townships throughout the country have made their political affairs public, making up well over 80 percent of the total number of townships. Thus, remarkable progress has been made in the building of democratic politics at the township level.

III. Judicial Guarantee for Human Rights

Attaching great importance to safeguarding human rights through perfecting legislation, ensuring an impartial judicature and strictly enforcing the law, China has made considerable progress in building a judicial guarantee for human rights.

It is a principle of the Chinese Constitution and the basic program of managing state affairs of the Chinese government to run the country according to law. Over 390 laws and decisions involving legal problems have been formulated by the NPC and its Standing Committee, more than 800 administrative laws and regulations by the State Council, and 8,000-plus local laws and regulations by the local people's congresses since the initiation of reform and opening-up. As a result, a fairly complete legal system has taken shape, with the Constitution as the core. There are laws covering all fields of social life, providing a comprehensive judicial guarantee for the various human rights of the citizens. To improve the legal sense of the administrative law executors and judicial personnel at various levels and the sense of the rights and duties of the citizens, China has actively carried out publicity stressing the rule of law and mass activities promoting knowledge of the law. Some 750 million people in China have participated in activities involving the study of laws, over 280 special lectures on the legal system for leaders at the provincial or ministerial level have been held with an accumulative total of 12,000 participants, and 184,000 leaders at the prefectural or departmental level have received regular legal training in the past five years.

China punishes criminal offenses in accordance with the law, and protects the safety of citizens' lives and property and other human rights from infringement. In 2000, the public security and judicial organs adopted forceful measures to crack down on serious crimes of violence in accordance with the law, such as crimes with gangster connections and characteristics, crimes involving the use of guns and explosives, and gang-related crimes, as well as frequently occurring criminal activities such as theft and robbery. They also punished, according to law, a handful of criminals who caused deaths or gathered people to upset the public order by organizing and using the Falun Gong cult, effectively safeguarding social stability and the people's lives and property.

To deepen the reform of the judicial system, courts at various levels have strengthened the administration of justice and law enforcement, actively implemented the system of choosing and appointing presiding judges and individual jurors, fully carried out the system of public adjudication, perfected the judicial rehabilitation system, and further intensified the internal supervisory and circumscribing mechanism of the courts and the mechanism for correcting errors, thereby effectively safeguarding impartial justice. In 2000, China's courts tried or handled over 560,000 criminal cases at the first instance, in which more than 640,000 criminals were sentenced; over 3.41 million civil cases at the first instance; more than 1.31 million cases involving economic, intellectual property and maritime affairs; 2,447 cases involving state compensation; 86,614 administrative lawsuits, including 13,635 cases involving the revocation of inappropriate administrative practices by administrative organs, or 15.74 percent of the total number; and cleared over 138,000 cases exceeding the trial time-limits, and some 475,000 long-pending cases, basically liquidating the arrears of cases and effectively safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations.

To earnestly guarantee that persons in financial difficulty can exercise their litigation rights according to law, the Supreme People's Court formulated the Regulations on Providing Judicial Assistance for Litigants Actually in Financial Difficulty in July 2000 to improve the judicial assistance system. According to the Regulations, in dealing with civil and administrative cases involving litigants actually in financial difficulty, especially the elderly, women, minors, the disabled persons and laid-off workers pressing for payment of alimony, the costs of maintenance and upbringing, pensions for families of deceased persons and old- age pensions, or for payment of medical costs and acquisition of material compensations for victims of traffic or industrial accidents and faulty medical treatment, payment of litigation costs may be postponed, reduced or remitted in accordance with the law. In 2000, courts across the country made decisions on such costs in more than 190,000 cases.

Procuratorial organs have reinforced litigation supervision according to law to improve the quality of handling cases and safeguard the legitimate rights of citizens. In 2000, procuratorial organs throughout the country placed 4,626 criminal cases involving misconduct by judicial personnel on file for investigation according to law; put forward 14,349 rectification opinions against public security organs adopting improper mandatory measures and other law-violating actions; corrected cases of exceeding the time-limit of summoning criminal suspects for detention at the investigation, suing and adjudication stages, 64,254 person-times; protested 3,798 court decisions and rulings on criminal cases, which were regarded as wrong, and 16,944 court decisions on civil administrative cases; and put forward rectification opinions against illegal commutation, release on parole or medical parole, 9,318 person-times. In the meantime, procuratorates have actively carried out nationwide a system of the main-suit procurator assuming full responsibility for handling cases, selected main-suit prosecutors through competition, and based on this, carried out the reform of public prosecutions, and trial-implemented the systems of public investigations of non- prosecution cases and the demonstration of evidence before the court -- all these have gone a long way toward safeguarding impartial justice and the legitimate rights and interests of criminal suspects.

The lawyer system and the system of legal assistance have been constantly improved, and are playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding the rights of citizens and promoting impartial justice. At present, there are over 9,500 lawyers' offices and more than 110,000 lawyers in China. In addition, 92 foreign law firms and 28 Hong Kong law firms had been allowed to set up offices on the Chinese mainland by July 2000. In 1999, lawyers throughout the country handled 1,364,000 lawsuits; in 2000, they participated in the defense of over 310,000 criminal cases, and provided legal assistance for criminal suspects at the criminal procedure and investigation stage in more than 170,000 cases. By the end of 2000, China had established 1,853 legal assistance organs at various levels, with 6,109 full-time personnel in their employ. In 2000, more than 170,000 cases of legal assistance were handled in China, in which over 228,000 persons received assistance, and 830,000 persons were offered consultancy on law-related problems, thus protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the poor, weak and disabled and other litigants.

China protects, in accordance with the law, the legitimate rights of prisoners, and has achieved remarkable results in reforming criminals. The recurrence rate of prisoners released at the end of their terms has remained between 6 and 8 percent for many years, a very low rate compared to those of other countries. To strengthen the supervision of the law enforcement of prison staff, the people's procuratorates at various levels have further improved the system of establishing resident agencies and offices in prisons throughout the country. In 1999, the Ministry of Justice began to carry out a three-year education program to improve the basic qualities of the prison police. As a result, their level of law enforcement has been markedly improved.

IV. The Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of Citizens

In 2000, the Chinese government made new efforts and achieved new progress in the protection of workers' economic, social and cultural rights.

The government promulgated and implemented the Regulations on the Administration of the Labor Market in accordance with the Labor Law in 2000, providing a guarantee for workers' right to employment from the angle of standardizing the labor market. According to statistics, by the end of 2000, employees in China totaled more than 710 million, an increase of 5.64 million over the figure for the previous year, including over 210 million employees in cities and towns, an increase of 2.6 million. Last year, 3.61 million workers laid off by state-owned enterprises found new jobs through various channels. The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.1 percent by the end of 2000. To better solve the employment of rural labor, the Chinese government has carried out a three-year program for the overall planning of urban and rural employment since 2000, retraining rural workers, promoting the development and employment of the rural labor force in the western region, and encouraging and supporting migrant laborers to return to their home villages to start businesses.

China has worked hard to develop job training with a view to enhancing workers' job skills and quality and improving their capabilities of finding employment and adapting to job changes. In 2000, the Chinese government formulated the Regulations on Employing Skilled Workers and the Procedures for Implementation of the Training of Labor Reserves. According to statistics, there were 4,098 secondary technical training schools nationwide with an enrollment of over 1.5 million in 2000; more than 3,000 training centers, with an annual admission to 4.08 million; and 16,000 training centers run by social sectors, with an annual admission to 3.6 million. A total of 4.5 million jobless persons and laid- off workers received new skill training, 300,000 people received guidance for and training in starting businesses, and 750,000 junior and senior middle school graduates in urban areas who failed to continue further studies received training under the " training of labor reserves" program. In 2000, 4.25 million students were admitted to various secondary vocational and technical schools, bringing the enrollment of such schools to the grand total of 12.95 million; and 96.42 million people received training at the adult technical training schools. To date, approximately 30 million people have obtained professional credentials in China.

The state guarantees the workers' right to obtain payment for labor, and their wages have been on the increase. In 2000, the government formulated the Guidelines on Further Deepening the Reform of the Internal Distribution System of Enterprises and the Trial Measures on Settling Wages Through Collective Negotiations, to strengthen the guidance for the wage-related work of enterprises. In 1999, the wages of workers in cities and towns totaled 987.55 billion yuan, an increase of 6.2 percent over the figure for the previous year; and their per capita wage was 8,346 yuan, an increase of 11.6 percent over the previous year, and a 13. 1 percent growth in real terms, allowing for price fluctuations. By the end of 2000, all the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities, except Tibet, had established and improved a minimum-wage guarantee system, readjusted and issued the standards for minimum wages in their own areas.

To safeguard the social security rights of workers, China has preliminarily established a social insurance system, mainly covering basic pension insurance, basic medical insurance and unemployment insurance for workers in cities and towns. It had enhanced the level of the basic livelihood guarantee of workers laid off by state-owned enterprises, the level of unemployment insurance, and the level of ensuring a minimum standard of living for urban residents. By the end of 2000, the system for ensuring a minimum standard of living for urban residents had been established in all cities and towns where the people's governments at the county level are located, benefitting 3.818 million urban residents; 15 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities had established such a system for rural residents, benefitting three million villagers with a total of 730 million yuan. In 2000, the cost of social insurance increased substantially in the state financial expenditure, and the social security costs, such as old- age pension, unemployment insurance, the basic livelihood guarantee for laid-off workers, and the minimum-standard-of-living guarantee for urban residents arranged by the central budget reached 47.8 billion yuan, an increase of 86 percent over 1999. By the end of 2000, a total of 104.08 million workers in China had participated in the unemployment insurance program, with a monthly average of 1.88 million receiving unemployment insurance; 104.47 million workers and 31.7 million retirees had participated in the basic pension insurance program; 43 million workers had participated in the basic medical insurance program; over 2,000 counties and cities had established the system of insurance against injuries at work, covering 42 million workers; 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities had tried out childbirth insurance, and 1,412 counties and cities introduced the childbirth insurance mutual assistance program, in which approximately 30 million workers participated.

China has increased its investment in education to create favorable conditions for citizens to exercise their right to receive education. During the Ninth Five-Year Plan period, the education fund increased at a rate of 15.56 percent annually on average, which was higher than the growth speed of the national economy. The proportion of the national financial education fund in the GDP increased continuously, rising from 2.41 percent in 1995 to 2.79 percent in 1999. The nation's total education fund in 1999 was 1.8 times that of 1995. The central and local governments raised an 11.6-billion-yuan special education fund for 852 poverty- stricken counties following the introduction of the "project for compulsory education in poverty-stricken areas." The state formulated the Regulations on the Administration of State Loans for Students (for trial implementation) and the Regulations on the Operation of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China State Loans for Students (for trial implementation), so as to comprehensively institute the student loan system to guarantee students with financial difficulties the right to receive education. By the end of 2000, China had virtually made nine-year compulsory education universal, covering 85 percent of the population, and basically wiped out illiteracy among the young and adults, reducing the rate of young and adult illiterates to less than five percent. Statistics show that there were 22.44 million children in kindergartens in China in 2000; over 130 million pupils in primary schools, the attendance rate of school-age children reaching 99.1 percent; 62.56 million students in junior middle schools, the gross attendance rate reaching 88.6 percent; 12.01 million students in 14,600 senior middle schools; 5.56 million students in 1,041 institutions of higher learning; 3.54 million students in 772 adult institutions of higher learning; 301, 000 students in 738 institutions for training postgraduates; and 378,000 students in special education schools.

Cultural undertakings have developed rapidly, and the people's cultural life has become increasingly rich and colorful. By the end of 2000, China had 2,622 performing art troupes; 2,911 cultural centers; 2,769 public libraries; 1,373 museums; 3,816 archive establishments; national and provincial newspapers with a circulation of 20.3 billion copies, magazines with a circulation of 2.85 billion copies, and books with a circulation of 6.35 billion copies; 732 medium- and short-wave broadcasting transmitting and relay stations, covering 92.1 percent of the population; and 1,313 TV transmitting and relay stations each with more than 1,000 watts, covering 93.4 percent of the population. China has 79.2 million users of cable television, ranking first in the world.

Telecommunications have advanced by leaps and bounds. The second-biggest three-dimensional communications network in the world linking the whole country and the rest of the world has been established, and the number of telephone subscribers ranks second in the world. By the end of 2000, there were 230 million telephone subscribers nationwide, including 85.26 million subscribers of mobile phones, second only to the United States; for every 100 urban residents there are 39 telephones on average, and telephone service covers 80 percent of the administrative villages. Digital and multi-media communications networks now cover all prefectures and cities, and some counties. Automatic roaming through the networks of the China Mobile Communications Corporation and the China Unicom reaches 84 countries and regions. The users of the Internet have risen from 10,000 in 1994, when China joined the Internet network, to well over 22.5 million. There are more than 27,300 websites in China at present.

In This Section

The Information Office of the State Council issued Monday, April 9, a white paper on China's human rights cause in 2000. The following is the full text of the white paper entitled Progress in China's Human Rights Cause in 2000:

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