April 9, 2000--The Chinese government attaches great
importance to the promotion and protection of civil and
political rights while working to realize the
economic, social and cultural rights and improve
the people's livelihood, a Chinese delegate said
in Geneva on April 6.
of the Chinese delegation Li Baodong told the 56th
session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights of
China's achievements by illustrating them with examples
in the following four aspects:
administer the state affairs according to law. In March
1999, the concept of running the country in
accordance with law was formally incorporated into the
Constitution. The key essence is to ensure that
the government functions as the law sees it, law-enforcement
and judicial bodies operate within the bound of law and
citizens exercise their rights and fulfill their
obligations according to law.
Chinese society is now in the process of transition from
too much emphasis on the rule of person and
insufficient emphasis on the rule of law to establishing
concept of the rule of law, from supremacy of the
power to supremacy of the law, from too much emphasis on
duties and insufficient emphasis on rights to establishing a
correct notion about rights and obligations.
--Strengthening legislation, popularizing
legal education and increasing supervision on
law-enforcement. In recent years, a series of
important laws, including the Law on Prison, the Law on
Judges and the Law on Lawyers, have been adopted.
In particular, the revision of and amendments to
the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law
have considerably improved human rights protection during
Lately, the National
People's Congress and its Standing Committee have
also passed the Law on Administrative Review and
the Law on Legislation. They are now drafting the
Law on Supervision.
education on legal provisions is developing in
depth. Citizens are quickly increasing the
awareness of safeguarding their rights and
interests by making use of law. The Chinese
judicial bodies have moved ahead with comprehensive reform
to further enhance the fair administration of justice and to
upgrade the level of law enforcement.
--Effective guarantee of freedom of religion
and belief. The Chinese constitution provides that
the citizens enjoy the freedom of religious
At present, there are more than 85,000
sites for religious activities in China, more than 300,000
clergy, over 3,000 religious organizations and 74
religious schools and colleges. Various religions
have witnessed the increase of followers in recent
years. For example, the number of Protestant believers
has grown to over 10 million from 700,000 in 1949.
--Prohibition of and opposition to torture.
Through its legislation, China explicitly prohibits torture
and metes out severe punishment against the use of
torture. In judicial practice, China has installed a variety
of vigorous mechanisms of supervision, including
legislative, administrative and social
supervision, and stresses the training of law
enforcement personnel in order to effectively
prevent occurrence of torture. In 1988, China
acceded to the UN Convention Against Torture. China is
serious about fulfilling its obligations under the
Convention and has thus far submitted three
reports on its implementation.
made great efforts to strengthen the legal system
and develop democracy," said Li.
"Remarkable achievements have been scored in promoting
and protecting all civil and political rights.
These achievements are acknowledged by any one
free of bias and certainly cannot be negated by
the misinformation against China by the United States,
and some other Western countries or a handful of