Implement New Ideas To Promote New Development
February 15,2017 By:CSHRS
Implement New Ideas To Promote New Development
Since the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as general secretary has led the whole Party and the people of all ethnic groups of the country in the new journey of opening-up and modern construction. Chinese people benefit more practically from the advanced progress of the State. The cause of human rights witnesses sound development in a new era. Two National Human Rights Action Plans of China have been smoothly implemented. The level of people’s living rises steadily. The social welfare system perfects gradually. The construction of democracy and rule of law is further strengthened. The prevention and correction mechanism of unjust, false, and erroneous criminal cases functions well. The rights and interests of vulnerable groups are protected. The construction of eco-civilization is continuously strengthened. The basic rights of each kind of Chinese people are further protected.
This year is the 30th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development and the starting year of China’s the 13th Five-Year Plan. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the five development ideas of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development is the illustration of China’s development thought, direction, and focus in the the 13th five years, or an even longer period, and also the illustration of China’s development experience thirty years after reform and opening up. The five development ideas greatly enrich and further improve the right to development and become a new project for human rights development and research. I will talk about my thoughts around the theme of the seminar as follows.
I. The Right to Development Is An Unalienable Human Right
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Right to Development on December 4th 1986, announcing clearly that the right to development is an unalienable human right. By virtue of the right to development, 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 Declaration on the Right to Development is another international human rights document of great significance since the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, illustrating a common recognition of the right to development all over the world. It is an important source of human rights. The idea of the right to development is rooted on the Charter of the United Nations, the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and two human rights conventions. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, reaffirming that the right to development is a universal and inalienable right and an integral part of fundamental human rights. As a fundamental human right, the right to development has gradually been recognized by the international community.
II. The Great Contribution China Has Made to Push Forward the Theory and Practice of The Right to Development
China has a large population, is deficient in resources per capita, and suffered for a long time foreign invasion, plunder, and suppression, all of which caused China to remain in the developing stage for a long time. To enjoy the right to life and the right to development is an urgent requirement of the Chinese people. Since the founding of New China, especially after reform and opening up, the Chinese government has always placed a high priority on the issues of how to realize people’s rights to life and to development. For many years, China has continuously improved people’s right to life and right to development based on economic and social development. Most people’s material and cultural living standard has been raised greatly. Political, economic, cultural, and social rights and interests have been protected. The cause of human rights has made historic progress. The high-speed development and great achievements made during these years are the best practice and proof of the right to development. Since 1993 when the China Society for Human Rights Studies was established, it has pushed forward research on human rights theory, actively made field exploration, popularized human rights knowledge, spread human rights education, developed international exchange and cooperation, promoted sound development of the human rights cause in China and all over the world, and participated in and witnessed the advance of Chinese society and human rights. Of course, as a developing country, China still has many obvious problems. For example, development is unbalanced, inharmonious, and unsustainable. To realize a higher level of the human rights guarantees, China still needs to make more efforts.
III. Under the Guidance of New Development Ideas, China Will Further Promote Human Rights Guarantees and Social Development
The 13th five-year period will be decisive for achieving the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects in China. Five development ideas are involved in every field and every link. These five development ideas provide a new connotation of the right to development and further clarify the direction, goal, and path for China’s economic and social development and human rights cause. China shall insist on “humans” as core, and shall promote innovative development. Coordinated and green development shall be promoted greatly with an open attitude to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and exchange between countries. Everyone shall be guaranteed justice in such aspects as basic resources, education, health care service, food, housing, and income to achieve shared development. Carrying out the new development ideas and the 13th five-year plan shall lead to the realization of the Chinese people’s rights to life and to development at a higher level and in broader fields.
IV. More Attention Shall Be Paid to Human Rights Development in the Internet Era
The internet brought about the most significant change in this period, deeply affecting economic and social development and creating new projects in human rights development. General Secretary Xi Jinping put forth four principles and five suggestions for global internet governance system reform in the Second Internet Conference (make rapid global internet infrastructure construction to develop connectivity; build cultural exchange and a shared platform to promote exchange and to learn from each other; push forward innovative internet economic development to achieve co-prosperity; protect internet safety to keep development in order; and build an internet governance system to promote fairness and justice), proposing to respect internet authority, maintain peace and security, promote open cooperation and construct good order. The internet provides a fresh platform, broader space, and diversified modes to realize human rights. To fit internet features, the government shall accumulate common knowledge to the greatest extent, advance economic and social development, and realize human rights at a higher level. But at the same time, the internet is not free from legal regulation. A harmonious and safe internet environment is a fundamental basis for human rights and development. To strengthen information and standardization construction, to strengthen governance and examination guidance, and to lay a solid internet safety basis shall produce a better environment for human rights advancement and development.
*LUO Haocai (罗豪才), President of the China Society for Human Rights Studies and Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the 10th Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). This article was addressed in the seminar of “New Development Ideas and Human Rights Protection” hosted by Wuhan University on May 7, 2016.