China releases white paper on human rights, highlighting Internet freedom   2010-09-26 10:08:05 FeedbackPrintRSS

Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government Sunday released a white paper on human rights in China in 2009, highlighting the role of Internet freedom and the country's efforts in safeguarding citizens' legitimate civil and political rights.

"The overall cause of human rights has been promoted in an all-round way," says the white paper, published by the State Council Information Office under the title "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009".

Chinese netizens' right to freedom of speech on the Internet was protected and the Internet has become a new channel for the Chinese government to gauge public opinion, and consequently improve its governance, the report reads.

It has become "common practice" for governments at all levels to consult the public via the Internet before formulating some policies, it says.

It adds government agencies have set up special websites to facilitate the public's reporting of corruption and dereliction of duty among officials.

Chang Jian, vice director of human rights research center of Tianjin-based Nankai University, said the government agencies have made marked progress in promoting transparency in public administration.

"Previously few government agencies were aware of the necessity to release pubic information, prompting the public to sue relevant government agencies, while today it has become a common pratice of many government bodies to publicize information," said Chang.

In 2009, the Chinese government promulgated and implemented its first national action plan with human rights as the theme.

The National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2009-2010), which applies the Constitutional principle of respecting and protecting human rights to the various fields of politics, economy, culture, social construction, among others, has been "effectively implemented", according to the white paper.

Chang Jian said, the action plan, compiled by people from the government, academia and non-government organizations, will be a road map in implementing the constitutional principle of respecting and protecting human rights.

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