White paper hails 'remarkable progress' in human rights protection

Human Rights
A white paper issued by China's State Council Information Office on Friday lauded "remarkable progress" in the law-based protection of human rights over the past five years.

XinhuaUpdated: December 15, 2017

A white paper issued by China's State Council Information Office on Friday lauded "remarkable progress" in the law-based protection of human rights over the past five years.

According to the white paper, titled "New Progress in the Legal Protection of Human Rights in China," the country has opened a new era of human rights protection.

The white paper expounded on the progress in human rights protection in six parts -- improving the legal framework to ensure human rights, promoting law-based administration, enhancing judicial protection of human rights, consolidating social mechanisms, strengthening the Party leadership over legal protection of human rights and promoting the development of global human rights.

The undertaking of human rights protection in China has made much headway and China is contributing to the diversity of human civilization and providing Chinese wisdom and solutions to promote social progress, it said.

China has improved legislation to better protect the civil and political rights of its people. It revised the Criminal Law, abolishing nine death penalty charges and raising the bar on executing convicts that have received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve.

To implement the rule of law and promote humanitarianism, China has implemented the amnesty system stipulated in the Constitution, and granted amnesty for four types of criminals, the white paper said.

China has also improved its laws to protect special groups. The white paper said China enacted the Anti-Domestic Violence Law, making clear the legal liabilities of the perpetrators and the procedure of investigation to protect victims of domestic violence.

The country has promoted law-based administration to protect the people's legitimate rights and interests, prohibiting administrative organs from expanding power beyond the law and confining the exercise of power in an institutional "cage."

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, it has canceled the requirement for administrative approval on 618 items, according to the white paper.

To build a responsible government, China has set up a mechanism of internal legitimacy review of major decisions, and explored the means to establish and implement a lifelong liability accounting system for major decisions, it said.

China has enhanced judicial protection of human rights. Efforts to prevent and correct wrongful convictions had seen the correction of 37 major cases of miscarriage of justice involving 61 people, and the acquittal of 4,032 defendants as per the law from 2013 to 2017, it said.

To ensure fairness and justice in each and every legal case, China has worked to guarantee independent and impartial enforcement of judicial and procuratorial authorities as per the law, press forward with reform of the criminal litigation system centering on trials and abide by the rules concerning excluding illegally-obtained evidence.

Since 2013, procuratorates have withheld their approval in the cases of 2,624 arrests and declined to prosecute 870 on the basis of exclusion of illegally-obtained evidence, the white paper said.

China has fought against corruption to guarantee people's interests.

The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has investigated more than 440 Party-member officials at or above the provincial level and other officials registered at and supervised by the CPC Central Committee since the 18th CPC National Congress, it said.

From 2014 to mid-October 2017, 3,453 fugitives were brought back from more than 90 countries and regions, including 48 on the list of 100 most wanted fugitives, and illegal assets worth 9.5 billion yuan (around 1.44 billion U.S. dollars) were recovered.

The white paper said China has been actively promoting the development of global human rights under the rule of law.

From 1990 to August 2017, 36,000 Chinese military peacekeeping personnel were sent abroad to take part in 24 UN peacekeeping operations. In 2017 China built a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops, according to the white paper.

In the Second Safe Mekong Joint Operation by China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, organized by China in 2016, 6,476 drug-related cases were solved, 9,927 suspects were arrested, and 12.7 tonnes of narcotics and 55.2 tonnes of precursor chemicals were seized.