Home >  White Papers > 

China hits human rights milestone in achieving moderate prosperity

Human Rights

China has hit another milestone in human rights as all-round moderate prosperity is achieved in the country with a population about one-fifth of the world's total, a white paper said Thursday.

XinhuaUpdated:  August 13, 2021

China has hit another milestone in human rights as all-round moderate prosperity is achieved in the country with a population about one-fifth of the world's total, a white paper said Thursday.

China's realization of all-round moderate prosperity, as declared in July, represents comprehensive progress in ensuring universal human rights in China, and a new contribution to the world's human rights cause, the document issued by the State Council Information Office said.

Under the Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership, the Chinese people "completed the historic transformation from poverty to secure access to food and clothing, to a decent life, and finally to moderate prosperity," read the white paper titled "Moderate Prosperity in All Respects: Another Milestone Achieved in China's Human Rights."

The goal of achieving moderate prosperity, articulated by China as it started reform and opening up some four decades ago, demonstrated the country's concern for improving the people's wellbeing and commitment to promoting human rights, it said.

Moderate prosperity in China, according to the document, is evident in all respects: a buoyant economy, political democracy, a flourishing culture, social equity, and healthy ecosystems; balanced development between urban and rural areas to the benefit of all the people; and high respect for and comprehensive protection of human rights.

"China's approach and experience have provided a distinctive path forward for human progress," read the white paper.

It explored the topics by examining the facts and figures in various aspects, including ending extreme poverty and securing the people's right to an adequate standard of living, putting life above all else in fighting COVID-19, ensuring equitable and accessible health services, improving the environment, protecting civil and political rights, and promoting social equity.

Workers weld components at a workshop of an automobile manufacturing enterprise in Qingzhou City, east China's Shandong Province, Feb. 28, 2021. (Photo by Wang Jilin/Xinhua)


"Poverty is the biggest obstacle to human rights," said the white paper.

By eliminating extreme poverty China has won the biggest and toughest battle against poverty in human history, to the benefit of the largest number of people.

The document noted that by the end of 2020, by China's current poverty threshold, all of the 99 million rural poor, had emerged from poverty.

On COVID-19, it highlighted that China has put the people's interests first, adopted thorough, rigorous and effective prevention and control measures, and turned the tide in the battle against the virus.

"China did everything possible to treat all patients," read the white paper.

Across central China's Hubei Province, more than 3,000 COVID-19 patients over the age of 80, including seven centenarians, were cured, with many of them brought back to life from the verge of death, it noted.

Medical workers take swab samples from residents for COVID-19 nucleic acid testing in Zhangjiajie, central China's Hunan Province, Aug. 4, 2021. (Xinhua/Chen Sihan)

Other key figures and facts laid out in the white paper concerning China's progress in advancing human rights are as follows:

-- The number of medical and health institutions in China increased from 170,000 in 1978 to over 1 million in 2020.

-- The average life expectancy in China rose from 67.8 years in 1981 to 77.3 years in 2019.

-- Maternal mortality dropped from 43.2 per 100,000 in 2002 to 16.9 per 100,000 in 2020.

-- From 1978 to 2020, the country's per capita GDP increased from 385 yuan to 72,000 yuan. In 2020, the average per capita disposable income was 32,189 yuan.

-- China's forest coverage rose from 12.7 percent in the early 1970s to 23 percent in 2020.

-- The proportion of female students in junior colleges and universities rose from 24.1 percent in 1978 to 51.7 percent in 2019.

Aerial photo taken on July 14, 2021 shows a lake at Arxan National Forest Park in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. (Xinhua/Lian Zhen)


The route to all-round moderate prosperity coincides with comprehensive progress in human rights in China, according to the white paper.

"The right to subsistence comes first among all human rights," it said, calling visible progress in securing basic needs and remarkable improvements in living standards the natural results of realizing all-round moderate prosperity.

"All-round moderate prosperity means all the people enjoy human rights," the white paper added.

In the process of creating this society, China has built a system guaranteeing social equity with equal opportunities, equal rules and equal rights, in which all can participate in, contribute to, and enjoy development, it said.

In summing up China's experience in promoting human rights in the process, the document highlighted that China has applied the principle of universality of human rights in China's context, and taken a people-centered approach to human rights.

China has taken protecting the rights to subsistence and development as the primary task and has been promoting human rights through development, with a happy life for the people as the ultimate goal, it said.

"There is no end to improving human rights. Moderate prosperity is a new starting point on China's quest for human rights," the white paper said, vowing that China will make a greater contribution to global human rights.