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A Brief Study on the Formation and Features of the Development Path of Human Rights in China
November 19,2022   By:CSHRS
A Brief Study on the Formation and Features of the Development Path of Human Rights in China
 
GU Chunde*
 
Abstract: General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at a group study session of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on February 25, 2022, stressing the importance of “unswervingly following the development path of Human Rights in China.” After years of theoretical exploration and practical experience in human rights, the path has been blazed. It has been taken by adhering unswervingly to the strong leadership of the CPC, respecting the principal position of the people, practicing the people-centered development concept, proceeding from China’s reality and the requirements of the people, combining the principle of universality of human rights with China’s reality, strengthening the system and the rule of law protection of human rights, and actively participating in global governance on human rights. Only by unswervingly following the development path of human rights in China can the cause of human rights in China achieve better and faster development.
 
Keywords: human rights conception in Marxism · development path of human rights in China · outlook on human rights in contemporary China
 
I. Introduction
 
On February 25, 2022, the CPC Political Bureau convened its 37th group study session. General Secretary Xi Jinping delivered an important speech on the development path of human rights in China. He emphasized that respecting and protecting human rights is the unremitting pursuit of the Communist Party of China. He gave full affirmation to the historic achievements of China in the human rights cause over the past century, in particular over the past four decades of reform and opening up, summarized the valuable experience that had been acquired in advancing human rights in China, made a comprehensive plan for promoting the all-round development of the human rights cause in China in the new era, and put forward a series of new tasks and new requirements. He also stressed the importance of “unswervingly following the path of human rights in China.” It is the first time in the history of the CPC for the General Secretary to make such a comprehensive and systematic statement on human rights, and demonstrated that the CPC is paying close attention to respecting an protecting the human rights of the Chinese people and the development of the human rights cause in China.
 
The important statements of General Secretary Xi Jinping are the latest achievements of the Sinicization of Marxist human rights theory adapted to Chinese conditions and the accurate interpretation and advanced theory of the scientific substance and core views of the outlook on human rights in contemporary China, adding new and important contents to the theory of the modernization of national governance system and capability. Human rights governance is an inherent requirement and important content of the modernization of the national governance system and capacity, so it is necessary to put forward the important issue of improving the human rights governance system and capacity. It is necessary to closely combine the rule of law, the rule of virtue, and human rights to give full play to their respective advantages for advancing national governance. As a correct guideline, it has laid a solid theoretical foundation for the construction of discipline, academic, and discourse systems of human rights, as well as the overall, sustainable, and high-quality development of China's human rights cause. Undoubtedly, it is of far-reaching significance.
 
II. The Formation and Development of the Development Path of Human Rights in China
 
The development path of human rights is of vital importance. It is related to the nature of human rights that are upheld and advocated and such important issues as the direction, method, and way to develop human rights. The direction determines the path, and the path determines the success of the human rights cause. It determines whether the necessity and abstraction of human rights can be transformed into the concreteness, reality, and practice of human rights. Only by adhering to the correct path of human rights can the human rights cause develop smoothly and healthily in the correct direction.
 
It is precisely for this reason that the development path of human rights inevitably attracts the attention of the Chinese Communists who have made repeated exploration and discussion on it. General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly expounded on the development path of human rights. He pointed out that there is no unified development path of human rights or mode of human rights practice. “When it comes to choosing a development path for a country, no one is in a better position to decide for the people of that country. Just as one does not expect a single prescription to cure all diseases, one should not expect a particular model of development to fit all countries. Blindly copying the development model of others will only be counterproductive, so will be any attempt to impose one’s development model on others.”1 This is true for a country and the development of human rights in a country. “The development of the human rights cause in the country should be based on our national conditions and the requirements of the people. It is good when it reaches the established objective and level. It is not necessary to follow the pattern of the West or be judged by them.” 2 In other words, we should not copy the human rights development path and model of the West. “We should not simply imitate the West when we see things that we do not have, and neither should we want to get rid of what we believe to be surplus because the West does not have it.” 3
 
In the process of modernization, Western countries have creatively paved a path of human rights development with the characteristics and background of Western civilization. The path of human rights development suits the development needs of Western nations and gradually evolves into Western-style human rights concepts and models in the development process. The Western experience in human rights development is useful and worth learning from. Meanwhile, we should note the Western characteristics of the western-style human rights development path and that the experience relies on the economic, social, and cultural development of Western civilization since modern times. Regarding the Western human rights development path the only correct so-called human rights experience is inappropriate sanctification of Western experience, which is a form of Western hegemony. According to General Secretary Xi Jinping, “There are different pathways toward wellbeing. People of all countries are entitled to choose their development paths and institutional models. This, in itself, is what wellbeing entails.”4 “Whether a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions; whether it follows the development trend of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better livelihoods, and social stability; whether it has the people’s endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progressive cause of humanity.”5 The same goes for the formation of the path of human rights development of a country and its people. Only the people of the country are qualified to judge which is the right human rights path for them. The finger-pointing of “human rights teachers” in Western countries is harmful.
 
The path of China’s human rights development is neither pre-designed by a few “geniuses” nor deduced from logical reasoning. It is gradually formed after long-term theoretical exploration and summary of experience in human rights practice. It comes out of the successful experience accumulated by the Chinese people in their long-term human rights practice. In other words, the path of China’s human rights development has gone through a long-term process of formation and development. In the promotion of the development of China’s human rights cause, the Chinese Communists have combined the Marxist concept of human rights with China’s specific reality and the excellent traditional Chinese culture, summed up the successful experience of the CPC in uniting and leading the people to respect and protect human rights, and learned from the achievements of excellent human civilization to find a path of human rights development that conforms to the trend of the times and suits China’s national conditions.6
 
Like the development of all other causes, the development of China’s human rights cause is achieved by the struggle of the Chinese people, so the Chinese people find their path of human rights development. Especially since the reform and opening up for more than 40 years, the CPC has led the Chinese people to continuously explore the path of China’s human rights development and gradually formed a relatively fixed and mature Chinese experience. For example, the White Paper Human Rights in China released in 1991, the inclusion of respecting and protecting human rights into the Constitution in 2004, and the National Human Rights Action Plan of China implemented in 2009, are all landmarks that have far-reaching influence on the process of China's exploration of human rights development.
 
The choice of development path is closely related to the country’s institutions, theories, and cultural traditions. The formation of the path of China’s human rights development and the continuous enrichment of its connotations fully demonstrate the full confidence in the path, theory, and system of contemporary China. We can say without exaggeration that the formation and development of the path of human rights development in China also demonstrate China’s “confidence in human rights.” The confidence in human rights is the concentrated expression of the above-mentioned matters of confidence in the field of human rights. The confidence in human rights is fundamentally the confidence of the Chinese people in the development of human rights. The people’s principal position, their high expectations for human rights, and their confidence and determination in the protection of human rights have inspired their confidence in human rights. The confidence of the Chinese people in human rights comes from the CPC’s concepts and theories for human rights protection. The confidence in human rights shows a high degree of unity between the will of the people and the CPC’s leadership. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is the most concentrated theoretical presentation of the will of the CPC and the people. This is the confidence in the guiding theories. Only under the correct leadership of the CPC can the Chinese people pave the path of human rights development in China, which is an important part of the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It shows the confidence in the path of human rights development contained in the confidence in human rights. The spiritual value of the confidence in human rights relies on confidence in the Chinese culture. The confidence in culture shows that China’s excellent traditional culture must have a profound impact on the path of human rights development and China’s new socialist culture will profoundly affect the choice of the path of human rights development. The confidence in human rights, as a part of the confidence in Chinese culture, also means actively and consciously learning from and absorbing excellent foreign cultures, systems, and concepts related to human rights. Under the premise of ensuring the people’s principal position, China can absorb excellent foreign culture while maintaining its own. It can be seen that the formation and development of the path of human rights development in China have enriched the content and connotations of the matters of confidence in China. In the new era, unswervingly following the path of human rights development in China is not only the theoretical guidance of the great vision of the General Secretary of the CPC but also the independent and firm choice of the Chinese people.
 
III. Unswervingly Following the Path of Human Rights Development in China in the New Era
 
General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed the importance of “unswervingly following the path of human rights development in China.” As mentioned previously, the fundamental reason is nothing more than that the road conforms to China’s national conditions and the trend of the times. The road is the correct choice of the Chinese people which can ensure the comprehensive, sustainable, and high-quality development of China's human rights cause in the correct political direction.
 
How can we unswervingly follow the path of human rights development in China in the new era? We believe that the practical experience in the development of China’s human rights cause has proved and will continue to prove that attention should be paid to the following aspects to firmly follow the path of human rights development in China.
 
A. Adhere to the strong leadership of the CPC in the development of human rights
 
General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system of China have determined the socialist nature of the human rights cause in China to ensure the position of the people as masters of the country and the equal enjoyment of human rights by the people.7 In China, the CPC is the ruling party that leads everything. Of course, it must also lead the important work of respecting and protecting the human rights of the Chinese people. The leadership of the CPC must run through the entire process, every link, and every aspect of respecting and protecting the human rights of the Chinese people. Regarding the path of human rights development in China, the CPC Central Committee has made a careful design based on the national conditions of China through organically integrating history and reality, theory and practice as well as form and content. China’s human rights development strategy is also decided by the CPC Central Committee, including the formulation of principles and policies, the legislative proposals, the guidance of correct ideological and theoretical concepts, and the formulation and implementation of national human rights action plans. The strategic planning and design of the CPC Central Committee on the development and protection of the human rights of the Chinese people are highly scientific, systematic, and forward-looking.8 The Party’s overall leadership in the development of human rights and the full respect and protection of people’s human rights are not contradictory but highly unified. The Party’s leadership is the most powerful way to protect the human rights of the people. The CPC shoulders the responsibility as a strong leader in developing the human rights of the Chinese people. It should take the lead in attaching importance to human rights, respecting human rights, and protecting human rights.
 
The experience of China in the development of human rights over the past century, in particular over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, has proven and will continue to prove that China’s human rights development would not have achieved historic and great achievements without the strong leadership of the CPC. Leaving or denying the strong leadership of the CPC will inevitably lead to mistakes and deviations in the development of human rights in China, turning respecting and protecting human rights into an empty talk. Therefore, to unswervingly follow the path of China's human rights development, it is necessary to further strengthen and continuously improve the strong leadership of the CPC over the development of human rights in China. Only in this way can it follow the correct socialist political direction in a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable manner.
 
B. Respect the position of the people as masters of their destiny and adhere to the people-centered development concept
 
In China, the people are the masters of the country and society, and all the power of the country belongs to the people. The essence of whole-process people’s democracy is the position of the people as masters of the country. The people are the subjects of human rights protection in China and the position of the people as masters of their destiny should not be shaken or changed. The people are not only active participants and promoters of the development of human rights in China but also enjoy and benefit from human rights protection. To unswervingly follow the path of human rights development in China, we should firmly establish and faithfully establish the people-centered development philosophy and remain committed to the principle that development is for the people, reliant on the people, and that its fruits are shared by the people. We should not regard respecting and protecting human rights as just an abstract, empty, and beautiful slogan to please the people. Empty talk is of no use. It is necessary to stop making empty talks and put them into practice to develop and protect people’s rights that are extensive, full, concrete, and effective.
 
Therefore, respecting and protecting human rights “must be manifested in the concrete and practical exercise of state power by the CPC and its governance of the country, in all aspects of the work of the Party and government organizations at all levels, and through the realization and development of the people's interests.”9 We should make every effort to complete the work of extreme importance.
 
Adhering to the position of the people as masters of their destiny and the people-centered development concept is a major issue in the choice of the path of human rights development. It seems to be a matter of political correctness and common sense to talk about human rights and the position of the people as masters of their destiny in contemporary times. Different choices on the path of human rights development can indeed reflect the complex relationship between political parties and the people, capital and the people, privilege and human rights, authority and obedience in the politics of different countries. In Western human rights politics, the people and human rights are highlighted, but capital is the real focus. The people-centered development concept has been replaced by the capital-centered development concept. In its people’s democratic politics, China has constructed a new type of relationship between the political party of the people and between the people and human rights, which highly unifies the centralized authority of the ruling party and the position of the people as masters of their destiny. The criteria for judging the achievements of social and economic development are based on the happiness, sense of fulfillment, security, and satisfaction of the people, striving to transcend the constraints of the privilege of capital. It is based on this that China puts the people and life front and center in face of the COVID-19 pandemic. While putting the safety and health of the people first, China has coordinated epidemic prevention and control and socioeconomic development. The people’s health is prioritized even at the expense of slower economic and social development or lockdown of cities. It could be the most vivid example of China’s respect for the position of the people as masters of their destiny and the practice of the people-centered philosophy when choosing the path of human rights development.
 
C. Adhere to respecting and protecting human rights based on the national condition and the requirements of the people
 
As the largest developing country in the world today, China is now and will be in the primary stage of socialism for a long time. With the high-quality, balanced, steady, and sustainable development of the economy, society, and culture, China has made historic achievements that have attracted worldwide attention and become the second-largest economy in the world today. Correspondingly, China’s human rights cause has developed rapidly in an all-round, coordinated, and sustainable manner. With the enjoyment of extensive, real, and high-level human rights by the people, the historic achievements of China in human rights are universally recognized. Nevertheless, we should be soberly aware that China’s economic, social and cultural development is unbalanced and insufficient, which cannot satisfy the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life, so there is still a considerable distance from the people’s expectations. It has been proved in practice that human rights development is subject to economic, social, and cultural development. As a result, it must be adapted to the overall economic, social and cultural development. The development of human rights work can be neither too fast nor too slow.
 
During the implementation of the human rights development strategy, top priority should be given to the most urgent needs and expectations of the people to ensure the right to subsistence and the right to development of the people. Because the right to subsistence and the right to development are basic human rights and the foundation of other rights, they should be stressed and ensured as a priority. Here, we should affirm that for a country and a nation, it would be well-nigh impossible for humanity to ensure any right without the production and supply of goods and materials. Human rights protection would become an empty talk without the guarantee of the right to subsistence and the right to development. We should stress that the right to subsistence and the right to development are inseparable. They are not only mutually inclusive in content but also promote each other in practice. The right to subsistence refers to the right of the people to live with dignity, covering the right to life and health and the right to basic living conditions, like food, housing, clothing and transportation. The right to subsistence is the foundation of the right to development while the right to development is the extension and guarantee of the right to subsistence. Of course, other human rights, such as the right to democratic politics for participating in politics and decision-making, the economic, social, and cultural rights, the right to environment, etc., should also be promoted and guaranteed simultaneously. In the new era, the people’s right to happiness in pursuing a better life, the comprehensive democratic right to be the master of their affairs, and the right to personal security in the digital age are becoming new human rights that should arouse people’s rational thinking and attention. In a nutshell, we should develop human rights in China in a comprehensive, coordinated, sustainable, and high-quality manner to ensure that the people enjoy broad, full, real, specific, and effective human rights in accordance with the law.
 
D. Adhere to the integration of the principle of universality of human rights with China’s national conditions
 
Human rights are the common value of human beings, so the subject, content, value, and goal of human rights are universal. However, the common value could not be achieved easily and automatically. It requires arduous efforts. The implementation of human rights must be linked to specific social reality and the development of human rights must be linked to the national condition of a country and the status quo of the international community. Human rights cannot be talked about without considering the social and political conditions as well as the historical and cultural traditions of different countries.
 
As a new type of nation-state with highly unbalanced economic and social development, China is also an ancient civilization with a long tradition of feudal rule. Therefore, to follow the path of human rights development in China, we must not only firmly grasp the general trend of the development of human political civilization but also be down-to-earth to consider the national conditions of China. It is necessary to accurately grasp the core human rights concept, which is the common value of all mankind and adapt it to the national condition and the needs of the people in China. It requires the Chinese people to bring their initiative and creativity into full play under the leadership of the CPC to correctly handle the relationship between rights, obligations, and powers in both system and practice, with the benign interaction between them, we can ensure and develop human rights through regulating public power. To protect human rights, the regulation of public power should not only ensure the ability and authority of public power but also make it subject to constraints. The institutional mechanism for regulating and supervising power formed in the development of China’s democratic politics is an important part of the human rights protection system with Chinese characteristics. We should fully consider the specific national conditions and social requirements of China in the development of human rights. It is necessary to emphasize the key points to put the people's right to subsistence and development in the first place and pay attention to the comprehensiveness and balance. Based on the protection of the right to subsistence and the right to development, we should comprehensively enhance people’s political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, and security rights. Meanwhile, we must attach great importance to collective human rights when advocating and improving individual human rights and strive to achieve the coordinated development of individual human rights and collective human rights. In these respects, China has gradually formed a system of human rights protection with distinctive features and made related practices.
 
E. Continuously strengthen the system and legal protection of human rights
 
The system is the fundamental and decisive guarantee. The realization of human rights relies on a set of effective systems and practices. Therefore, it is necessary to further improve and perfect China’s fundamental political system, basic political systems, and local democratic systems, and constantly enrich the provisions and contents of human rights protection according to the actual situation of economic and social development. The practice of human rights in different social systems shows that the rule of law is the most effective means for protecting human rights, and that it cannot be replaced by other means. The realization of human rights has never been spontaneous nor can it be disorderly. Spontaneity results in chaos while disorder causes counteracting forces, as a result, respecting and protecting human rights becomes just empty talk. To avoid the situation and truly promote the realization of human rights, we must strengthen the legal protection of human rights. It is necessary to respect and protect human rights comprehensively in the entire chain and process from legislation, law enforcement, judiciary and abiding by the law.10
 
It is necessary to further promote socialist rule of law and improve the human rights protection mechanism. All the existing laws and regulations on the economy, society, culture, education, hygiene, medical care, the elderly, women and children, and for improving the people’s livelihoods and protecting people’s rights and interests should be resolutely implemented. Meanwhile, we should make regular supervision to find problems and correct and solve them promptly. With the development of economic, social, cultural, and human rights causes, we should continue to improve the laws and regulations to protect the people’s rights by establishing a relatively complete legal system with the Constitution as the core and a series of laws and regulations as the main body. It is proposed to improve the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics and strengthen legislation in key areas. Undoubtedly, strengthening and improving legislation in the field of human rights is the top priority for strengthening legislation in key areas.
 
In China, the vast majority of laws and regulations for protecting human rights are implemented by state administrative organs and the staff.Administrative law enforcement is a vital part of the protection of human rights. It is the fundamental princple of the work of administrative organs to promote law-based administration and law enforcement on behalf of the people. We should gradually establish and perfect related systems by amending the Constitution and formulating laws, regulations, and policies, to regulate the law enforcement behaviors of state administrative organs and the staff and lead them onto the track of the rule of law. The provisions in the Administrative Permission Law, Administrative Punishment Law, and Administrative Review Law should be implemented without compromise. The key to law-based administration is to cultivate and improve the quality and ability of administrative law enforcement personnel as well as the efficiency and level of administrative law enforcement. To build a law-based government, we need to improve and implement the list of government powers system, the mechanism reviewing the legality of major decisions made by government departments and agencies, the lifelong liability system for major decisions, the accountability tracking system, etc. Administrative organs should perform their duties in accordance with the law, performing those functions that have been prescribed by law while refraining from acting where the law has not authorized them to act. Acts that violate the law, harm the interests of the people, and infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of the people should not be ignored but seriously investigated and dealt with in accordance with the law and Party disciplines and resolutely held accountable to protect the human rights of the people.
 
As the fundamental norm of judicial work, respecting and protecting human rights should be implemented throughout its whole process. China has continuously deepened the reform of the judicial system and gradually established a sound, efficient, and authoritative judicial mechanism that is satisfactory to the people to effectively protect human rights. Judicial work is related to the immediate protection of the rights and interests of the people, so it should be placed under the effective supervision of the people in accordance with the Constitution and the laws. Judicial organs and their staff should administer justice in accordance with the law, independently exercise judicial, procuratorial, and supervisory powers in accordance with the law, and effectively protect the rights of parties directly involved and other litigation participants to know, state, defend and debate, apply, and appeal in the process. It is necessary to deepen the reform of the trial-centered litigation system and improve the credibility of judicial work. We should eradicate corruption in judicial work, keep judicial power in the cage of the law, follow the principles of legality, the presumption of innocence, and evidence-based verdict, exclude any evidence obtained by illegal means, and reduce wrongful convictions to the greatest extent possible to better and more effectively protect human rights. “We should endeavor to embody fairness and justice in every law, law enforcement decision, and legal case”11 to fully ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the people.
 
F. Actively participate in and promote global human rights governance
 
Respecting and protecting human rights is not only a development issue within a country but also a cause that requires extensive cooperation and the joint efforts of the international community. Nowadays, it is unrealistic and undesirable to attempt to develop the human rights of a country completely behind closed doors. Only by actively participating in global human rights governance and making good use of international factors in promoting the human rights cause of the country can we ensure the faster and better development of human rights. It is an important part of the holistic approach to both domestic and international situations and a community with a shared future for human beings advocated by China.
 
General Secretary Xi Jinping has emphasized that we should carry forward the common values of mankind, uphold the principles of equality and mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutual learning, and advance the global governance of human rights in a fairer, more rational, and inclusive direction to actively promote global human rights governance.12 The global human rights governance advocated by China is a cause pursued by all countries with sovereign equality in the world rather than the “oligarchic” governance dominated by a few Western powers and foiled by many weak countries. From a realistic point of view, the inequity, injustice, and unreasonable phenomena in contemporary global human rights governance are still prominent. Therefore, China should actively participate in various mechanisms of global human rights governance, unite the vast number of developing countries to promote meaningful reform of global human rights governance, and strive to achieve fairness and justice in global human rights governance. A good global human rights governance system can promote the realization of the common values of mankind and the gradual implementation of the concept of a community with a shared future for human beings.
 
One of the important contents of China’s participation in global human rights governance is to actively participate in the human rights affairs of the United Nations and conduct extensive international human rights exchanges and cooperation with other countries, in particular developing countries. Over the past 50 years since the restoration of the PRC’s lawful seat in the United Nations, China has actively participated in the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations through advocating international cooperation in the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, etc. China has signed 26 international human rights instruments, including six core UN conventions. China has actively participated in the drafting of many UN human rights treaties or declarations and played an important and constructive role. For example, China has played an important role in the drafting and adoption of the Declaration on the Right to Development, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. China has attached great importance to the fulfillment of its obligations prescribed in the human rights conventions, ensured that the formulation, legislation, and any amendments of its laws and policies are consistent with these conventions, and submitted high-quality periodic reports to actually fulfill the obligations prescribed in the human rights conventions and continuously improve the domestic system and mechanism for human rights governance. China attaches great importance to cooperation, exchanges, and consultations with other countries in the world, in particular developing countries, in the field of human rights. For example, China has organized human rights consultation mechanisms and exchange mechanisms with many countries, such as the China-US human rights dialogue, China-Germany human rights dialogue, China-Russia human rights dialogue, etc. Taking another example, China has held international seminars of various forms, such as “Beijing Forum on Human Rights”, “South-South Human Rights Forum”, “China-Europe Seminar on Human Rights”, etc.The increasingly extensive international activities focused on human rights have strengthened the dialogue and exchanges between China and other countries in the field of human rights and gradually enhanced China’s right to speak in global human rights governance. Facing the complex and severe reality of global human rights governance, China should take greater initiative in seeking international human rights cooperation, adhere to the leading role of the UN human rights mechanism, dare to fight against hegemony and power politics in the field of international human rights, and defend international justice.
 
IV. Conclusion
 
The path of human rights development in China is a path developed by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC. It is a path suitable for the survival and development of the Chinese people independently chosen by the Party and the people with a high degree of unity. To unswervingly follow the path of human rights development in China, we should adhere to the strong leadership of the CPC, the position of the people as masters of their destiny, the people-centered development concept, proceeding from the reality of China and the requirements of the people, and the principle of universal human rights combined with China’s reality. We should always put the people’s right to subsistence and development in the first place, actively participate in global human rights governance, and comprehensively promote the development and advancement of human rights in China in the constructive interactions of reform, development, and stability.
 
General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important statement on the development path of human rights in China in the collective study session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee is of great significance and far-reaching influence. We should study it earnestly for a thorough understanding and align our knowledge and understanding of human rights with the important statements of General Secretary Xi Jinping on the path of human rights development in China. To this end, it is necessary to carry forward the correct concept of human rights, enhance the correct awareness of human rights, unswervingly follow the path of human rights development in China, implement the new deployment, new tasks, and new requirements put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping on comprehensively advancing the development of China’s human rights cause, and do a solid job in protecting human rights. In this way, China’s human rights cause will surely rise to a new level, open up a new situation, achieve greater progress, and make greater contributions to global human rights governance. The path of human rights development in China will also get wider and wider.
 
(Translated by HU Liang)
 
* GU Chunde ( 谷春德 ), Professor of Renmin University of China Law School, Honorary Director of the Human Rights Center, Renmin University of China.
 
1. Compiled by the Institute of Party History and Literature of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2021), 22.
 
2. Ibid., 13.
 
3. Ibid.
 
4. Xi Jinping, Strengthening Cooperation Among Political Parties to Jointly Pursue the People's Wellbeing (Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2021), 6.
 
5. Xi Jinping, “Speech at the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China In the United Nations (October 25, 2021)”, People’s Daily, October 26, 2021.
 
6. Xinhua News Agency, “Xi Jinping Stresses the Importance of Unswervingly Following the Development Path of Human Rights in China to Better Promote Human Rights Development During the 37th Group Study Session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee”, People’s Daily, February 27, 2022.
 
7. Ibid.
 
8. Qian Jinyu, “The Path of Human Rights Development with Chinese Characteristics and the Party’s Leadership Development”, Human Rights 3 (2021): 6.
 
9. Compiled by the Institute of Party History and Literature of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights (Beijing: Central Party Literature Press, 2021), 17.
 
10. Xinhua News Agency, “Xi Jinping Stresses the Importance of Unswervingly Following the Development Path of Human Rights in China to Better Promote Human Rights Development During the 37th Group Study Session of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee”, People’s Daily, February 27, 2022.
 
11. Ibid.
 
12. Ibid.
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