(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA ‘SHINE’ NEWSPAPER)
Xi says ‘reflect will of the people’ on rights
Chinese President Xi Jinping has called on the international community to respect and reflect the will of the people in developing countries in human rights development.
Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory message to the South-South Human Rights Forum, which opened in Beijing yesterday.
“It is important for the international community to respect and reflect the will of the people in developing countries in the spirit of justice, fairness, openness and inclusiveness,” Xi said. “It is the lofty ideal of mankind that everyone enjoys human rights to the full.”
Since modern times, people in the developing world have fought long and hard for national liberation and independence, for freedom and equality, for dignity and happiness, and for peace and development, Xi said in the message. “By doing so, they have also contributed significantly to the progress of human rights.”
Xi said that following a people-centered development philosophy, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have all along placed people’s interests above all else, and worked hard to meet people’s desire for a better life and improve respect for and protection of the fundamental rights of the Chinese people.
The development blueprint outlined at the 19th CPC National Congress held in October will give a strong boost to human rights development in China and make new and even greater contribution to the progress of mankind, he said.
Noting the development of human rights worldwide cannot be achieved without the joint efforts of developing countries, which account for more than 80 percent of the world’s population, he said human rights must and can only be promoted in light of specific national conditions and people’s needs.
Xi urged developing countries to uphold both the universality and particularity of human rights and steadily raise the level of human rights protection.
“The Chinese people would like to work in concert with people in other developing countries and beyond to advance development through cooperation, promote human rights through development, and build a community with a shared future for human beings,” he said.
Some 300 participants from over 50 mostly developing countries attended the forum.
Addressing the forum’s opening session, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the Party congress had “identified the goal of forging a new field in international relations and building a community of shared future for mankind.”
“This is China’s answer to the question of where human society is heading, and it has also presented opportunities for the development of the human rights cause,” Wang said.
He highlighted China’s achievements in poverty reduction as an example of its efforts to improve rights. China has reduced its poverty rate to 4 percent and seeks to eradicate poverty by 2020.
Tom Zwart of Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit told participants that China has “entered a new era of human rights.”
The country, he said, has started to play a bigger role in building “a just and harmonious international order that also includes the international human rights system.”