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Full text: The Right to Development: China's Philosophy, Practice and Contribution
December 02,2016   By:Xinhua
 
The founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 ushered in a new era for China's development. The PRC has provided full development opportunities and conditions to the people, and vast scope to realize that right. Through more than 60 years of effort, China's overall national strength has greatly increased; standards of living have achieved a historical leap from poverty to moderate prosperity; the people's right to development in economy, politics, culture, society and environment has been effectively protected.
 
China feeds more than 20 percent of the world's population with less than 10 percent of the world's arable land. Through more than 30 years of reform and opening-up, China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty, accounting for more than 70 percent of the global reduction in poverty. China has established the world's largest social security system, and average life expectancy had grown from 35 years in 1949 to 76.34 years in 2015, ranking high among the developing countries. The level of education has soared: in 1949, more than 80 percent of the national population was illiterate, and the enrollment rate of school-age children was only 20 percent. In 2015, net enrollment rates were as follows: primary school-age children - 99.88 percent; nine-year compulsory education -- 93 percent; high school - 87 percent. The enrollment rate for higher education has reached a level approaching that of medium-developed countries. According to the "China National Human Development Report 2016" released by the United Nations, China's Human Development Index (HDI) in 2014 ranked 90th among 188 countries, already in the high human development group.
 
Over the years, proceeding from reality and following the trend of the times, China has maintained the people's principal position in the country and created its own path by taking the central task of economic development and upholding the Four Cardinal Principles [Note: The Four Cardinal Principles refer to the principles of adhering to the socialist path, the people's democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the CPC, and Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. The Four Cardinal Principles are the foundation of the state, and the political cornerstone for the survival and development of the Party and the state.] and the policy of reform and opening-up to serve its practice of Chinese socialism, and following the philosophy of innovative, balanced, eco-friendly, open and shared development, and thus contributed to enriching and improving the concept of right to development.
 
The rights to subsistence and development are the primary, basic human rights. Poverty is the biggest obstacle to human rights. Without the production and supply of material goods, it is difficult or even impossible to realize any other human right. Development is a means of eliminating poverty. It provides necessary conditions for realizing other human rights, and releases human potential. The right to development is incorporated into other human rights, while the latter create the conditions for people to facilitate development and realize the right to development. Safeguarding the right to development is the precondition for realizing economic, cultural, social and environmental rights, and obtaining civil and political rights. China appreciates the articulation in the UN's "Declaration on the Right to Development" : "The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized."
 
The people hold the principal position concerning the right to development. China values the people's supremacy and regards the people as the fundamental driver of development, striving for the people, relying on the people, and sharing among the people. It takes improving popular wellbeing and well-rounded development as the starting point and ultimate goal, and fully mobilizes people's enthusiasm, initiative and creativity to participate in, contribute to and benefit from development. To build a moderately prosperous society in all respects and realize the Chinese Dream of revitalizing the Chinese nation means to provide better education, more secure employments, more satisfying income, more reliable social security, better medical services, more comfortable housing, and a better environment, so that all individuals can develop, contribute to society, and share the opportunity to pursue excellence and realize their dreams.