Foreword

In November 1991 the Chinese government published the white book Human Rights in China, which made clear to the international community China's basic position and practice on human rights. In the last four years the cause of human rights in China has seen new progress.

The four years since 1991 marked an important historical period for the overall implementation of the Eighth Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development. National economic and social development in China has advanced by leaps and bounds. The plan to quadruple the 1980 GNP by 2000 was realized ahead of schedule in 1995. The Chinese people's life has improved greatly, and they are working hard to achieve a comfortable life. Today political stability, economic development and social progress are characteristics of China's new social order, along with ethnic unity, domestic harmony and a continually rising standard of living, thereby demonstrating the overall improvement in human rights. Practice has proved that it suits China's conditions and the basic interests of all the Chinese people to give priority to the people's right to existence and development and improve the situation of human rights in an all-round way under circumstances of reform, development and stability. This has won worldwide recognition.

In the last four years China has actively safeguarded the aim and principle of promoting human rights and basic freedoms set forth in the United Nations Charter and firmly opposed some countries' hegemonic acts of using a double standard for the human rights of other countries, especially developing countries, and imposing their own pattern on others, or interfering in the internal affairs of other countries by using "human rights" as a pretext. China's principled stand on human rights has won support from many countries of the world. China has made effective efforts in maintaining world peace and promoting the healthy development of international human rights.

Though great achievements have been made in the last four years in promoting the development of human rights in China, some human rights situations are not so satisfactory because of the limitations of history and level of development. It is still a long-term task for the Chinese people and government to safeguard and promote the development of human rights and improve the human rights situation for all the people.