Sep. 22, 2011 -- The following is the full text of a speech Wang Chen, minister of the State Council Information Office, made at the opening ceremony of the 4th Beijing Forum on Human Rights on Wednesday in Beijing.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In this beautiful autumn season, the 4th Beijing Forum on Human Rights, co-sponsored by China Society for Human Rights Studies and the China Foundation for Human Rights Development, is opened. This is an important event in the realm of international human rights, and it offers a great opportunity for China to cooperate and exchange ideas with other countries on human rights. Human rights experts, personages and government officials from all over the world gather here to discuss the topic of "cultural traditions, values and human rights", and jointly explore and advance the development of global human rights theory and practice. I have the honor to extend sincere congratulations on the opening of the symposium and express a warm welcome to our friends present on behalf of China's State Council Information Office.
China has a long history and a splendid culture, and is also the largest developing country in the world. Since the introduction of the reform and opening-up policy, the Chinese government has combined the universality of human rights with China's own situation. It has inherited and enhanced China's outstanding culture and tradition, drawn on the experiences of other countries, promoted socialist core values, taken effective measures to promote the development of human rights and opened a socialist path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics.
First, we have stuck to the principle of "prioritizing people", a theory safeguarding people's economic, political, social and cultural rights. The principle of "prioritizing people" is a cardinal virtue of traditional Chinese culture, which advocates that people are the foundation of a country, that people are more important than rulers, and deems that people should be given the top priority. While inheriting this people-oriented concept from traditional Chinese culture, the Chinese government has also proposed the Scientific Outlook on Development resting on the principle of "prioritizing people", and insisted on development for the people, development by the people and its benefit should be shared among the people.
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