Right to de­vel­op­ment is fun­da­men­tal

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - DOCUMENT - I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. Con­clu­sion

China’s State Coun­cil In­for­ma­tion Of­fice on Thurs­day is­sued a white pa­per on the right to de­vel­op­ment, de­tail­ing the coun­try’s phi­los­o­phy, prac­tice and con­tri­bu­tion in this re­gard. Fol­low­ing is the full text of the doc­u­ment.

The Phi­los­o­phy of the Right to De­vel­op­ment Abreast with the Times The Sys­tem En­sur­ing the Peo­ple’s Right to De­vel­op­ment Ef­fec­tively Re­al­iz­ing Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment En­hanc­ing Po­lit­i­cal De­vel­op­ment Pro­mot­ing Cul­tural Progress Pro­mot­ing So­cial De­vel­op­ment Ac­cel­er­at­ing En­vi­ron­men­tFriendly De­vel­op­ment Pro­mot­ing Com­mon De­vel­op­ment


De­vel­op­ment is a univer­sal hu­man theme, pro­vid­ing for peo­ple’s ba­sic needs and giv­ing them hope of bet­ter life. The right to de­vel­op­ment is an in­alien­able hu­man right, sym­bol­iz­ing dig­nity and honor. Only through de­vel­op­ment can we ad­dress global chal­lenges; only through de­vel­op­ment can we protect ba­sic civil rights of the peo­ple; only through de­vel­op­ment can we pro­mote the progress of hu­man so­ci­ety

hina, with a pop­u­la­tion of over 1.3 bil­lion, is the largest de­vel­op­ing coun­try in the world. De­vel­op­ment is the top pri­or­ity of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) in gov­er­nance and na­tional re­vi­tal­iza­tion, and the key to re­solv­ing all other prob­lems. Based on its pre­vail­ing con­di­tions, China ad­heres to the Chi­nese so­cial­ist path and to the phi­los­o­phy that de­vel­op­ment is of paramount im­por­tance. China in­te­grates the prin­ci­ple of univer­sal ap­pli­ca­tion of hu­man rights with the coun­try’s re­al­ity. While striv­ing to en­hance the peo­ple’s well­be­ing through de­vel­op­ment and ma­te­ri­al­ize their right to de­vel­op­ment, China en­deav­ors to achieve higher-level de­vel­op­ment by pro­tect­ing their right to de­vel­op­ment. In this re­gard, China has made no­table progress and blazed a path in pro­tect­ing hu­man rights dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man civ­i­liza­tion.

Since the 18th CPC Na­tional Con­gress in 2012, the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee with Xi Jin­ping as its core has high­lighted the idea of peo­ple-cen­tered de­vel­op­ment. In the course of re­al­iz­ing the Two Cen­te­nary Goals [Note: The two goals are to com­plete the build­ing of a mod­er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects by the cen­te­nary of the CPC (founded in 1921) and to build China into a mod­ern so­cial­ist coun­try that is pros­per­ous, strong, demo­cratic, cul­tur­ally ad­vanced, and har­mo­nious by the cen­te­nary of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China (founded in 1949).] and the Chi­nese Dream of re­vi­tal­iz­ing the Chi­nese na­tion, it has fo­cused on safe­guard­ing and im­prov­ing peo­ple’s well­be­ing, ad­vanc­ing all so­cial pro­grams, and pro­tect­ing peo­ple’s rights to equal par­tic­i­pa­tion and de­vel­op­ment. The aim is to share de­vel­op­ment ben­e­fits and achieve com­mon pros­per­ity among all peo­ple of the coun­try.

On the 30th an­niver­sary of the pub­li­ca­tion of the “Dec­la­ra­tion on the Right to De­vel­op­ment by the United Nations,” China, ded­i­cated to ad­vo­cat­ing, prac­tic­ing and pro­mot­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment, is will­ing to join the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to share its phi­los­o­phy and ex­pe­ri­ence in this re­gard and to boost sound de­vel­op­ment of global hu­man rights.

I.The Phi­los­o­phy of the Right to De­vel­op­ment Abreast with the Times

Equal ac­cess to de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and de­vel­op­ment ben­e­fits are the ideals of hu­man so­ci­ety wherein each and ev­ery cit­i­zen can achieve well-rounded de­vel­op­ment and en­joy full right to de­vel­op­ment.

The Chi­nese peo­ple are dili­gent, wise, in­no­va­tive and pro­gres­sive. In tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, con­cepts such as “mod­er­ate pros­per­ity” (xiao-kang), “great har­mony” ( da­tong), “hav­ing am­ple food and cloth­ing” ( fengyi zushi) and “liv­ing and work­ing in peace and con­tent­ment” ( anju leye) fully re­flect the Chi­nese peo­ple’s as­pi­ra­tion for and pur­suit of a bet­ter, hap­pier life. In the long course of his­tory, the Chi­nese peo­ple have al­ways striven for bet­ter and shared de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, con­di­tions and bene- fits. In an­cient times, China was for long the world leader in agri­cul­ture, and con­trib­uted to hu­man progress with ex­tra­or­di­nary de­vel­op­ment achieve­ments. Stud­ies re­veal that un­til the mid-19th cen­tury, China’s GDP and per capita GDP were the world’s high­est. Be­fore the 16th cen­tury, China con­trib­uted 173 of the world’s top 300 in­no­va­tions and dis­cov­er­ies.

Af­ter the In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion started in the 18th cen­tury, China be­gan los­ing its lead­er­ship. For­eign ag­gres­sion and ex­pan­sion by Western colo­nial­ists com­pletely de­stroyed con­di­tions for de­vel­op­ment in China. Re­peated in­va­sions by for­eign pow­ers, par­tic­u­larly from the West, from 1840 to 1949, and China’s corrupt rul­ing class and back­ward so­cial sys­tem re­duced China to a semi-colo­nial and semi-feu­dal so­ci­ety. There was con­stant war­fare, an un­sta­ble so­ci­ety, eco­nomic de­pres­sion, no se­cu­rity of liveli­hood, and ex­treme poverty. The Cambridge His­tory of China: Repub­li­can China 1912-1949 de­scribes China’s sit­u­a­tion in the first half of 20th cen­tury as fol­lows: “...the great ma­jor­ity of Chi­nese merely sus­tained and re­pro­duced them­selves at the sub­sis­tence level ... the stan­dard of life for many fell short even of that cus­tom­ary level.” [Note: The Cambridge His­tory of China (Vol­ume 12): Repub­li­can China 1912-1949 Part I, Cambridge Univer­sity Press, 1983, p. 28.] “As a sys­tem, China’s econ­omy which was ‘pre-mod­ern’ even in the mid-twen­ti­eth cen­tury ceased to be vi­able only af­ter 1949...” [Note: Ibid. p. 29.] In these 110 years, the Chi­nese peo­ple strug­gled ar­du­ously for their right to de­vel­op­ment and equal ac­cess to de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­nity. The Chi­nese peo­ple are fully aware of the value of de­vel­op­ment and of their right to de­vel­op­ment.

The found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China (PRC) in 1949 ush­ered in a new era for China’s de­vel­op­ment. The PRC has pro­vided full de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and con­di­tions to the peo­ple, and vast scope to re­al­ize that right. Through more than 60 years of ef­fort, China’s over­all na­tional strength has greatly in­creased; stan­dards of liv­ing have achieved a his­tor­i­cal leap from poverty to mod­er­ate pros­per­ity; the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment in econ­omy, pol­i­tics, cul­ture, so­ci­ety and en­vi­ron­ment has been ef­fec­tively pro­tected.

China feeds more than 20 per­cent of the world’s pop­u­la­tion with less than 10 per­cent of the world’s arable land. Through more than 30 years of re­form and open­ing-up, China has lifted 700 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty, ac­count­ing for more than 70 per­cent of the global re­duc­tion in poverty. China has es­tab­lished the world’s largest so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem, and av­er­age life ex­pectancy had grown from 35 years in 1949 to 76.34 years in 2015, rank­ing high among the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. The level of ed­u­ca­tion has soared: in 1949, more than 80 per­cent of the na­tional pop­u­la­tion was il­lit­er­ate, and the en­roll­ment rate of school-age chil­dren was only 20 per­cent. In 2015, net en­roll­ment rates were as fol­lows: pri­mary school-age chil­dren - 99.88 per­cent; nine-year com­pul­sory ed­u­ca­tion -- 93 per­cent; high school - 87 per­cent. The en­roll­ment rate for higher ed­u­ca­tion has reached a level ap­proach­ing that of medium-de­vel­oped coun­tries. Ac­cord­ing to the “China Na­tional Hu­man De­vel­op­ment Re­port 2016” re­leased by the United Nations, China’s Hu­man De­vel­op­ment In­dex (HDI) in 2014 ranked 90th among 188 coun­tries, al­ready in the high hu­man de­vel­op­ment group. Over the years, pro­ceed­ing from re­al­ity and fol­low­ing the trend of the times, China has main­tained the peo­ple’s prin­ci­pal po­si­tion in the coun­try and cre­ated its own path by tak­ing the cen­tral task of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and up­hold­ing the Four Car­di­nal Prin­ci­ples [Note: The Four Car­di­nal Prin­ci­ples re­fer to the prin­ci­ples of ad­her­ing to the so­cial­ist path, the peo­ple’s demo­cratic dic­ta­tor­ship, the lead­er­ship of the CPC, and Marx­ism-Lenin­ism and Mao Ze­dong Thought. The Four Car­di­nal Prin­ci­ples are the foun­da­tion of the state, and the po­lit­i­cal cor­ner­stone for the sur­vival and de­vel­op­ment of the Party and the state.] and the pol­icy of re­form and open­ing-up to serve its prac­tice of Chi­nese so­cial­ism, and fol­low­ing the phi­los­o­phy of in­no­va­tive, bal­anced, eco-friendly, open and shared de­vel­op­ment, and thus con­trib­uted to en­rich­ing and im­prov­ing the con­cept of right to de­vel­op­ment.

The rights to sub­sis­tence and de­vel­op­ment are the pri­mary, ba­sic hu­man rights. Poverty is the big­gest ob­sta­cle to hu­man rights. Without the pro­duc­tion and sup­ply of ma­te­rial goods, it is dif­fi­cult or even im­pos­si­ble to re­al­ize any other hu­man right. De­vel­op­ment is a means of elim­i­nat­ing poverty. It pro­vides nec­es­sary con­di­tions for re­al­iz­ing other hu­man rights, and re­leases hu­man po­ten­tial. The right to de­vel­op­ment is in­cor­po­rated into other hu­man rights, while the lat­ter cre­ate the con­di­tions for peo­ple to fa­cil­i­tate de­vel­op­ment and re­al­ize the right to de­vel­op­ment. Safe­guard­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment is the pre­con­di­tion for re­al­iz­ing eco­nomic, cul­tural, so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal rights, and ob­tain­ing civil and po­lit­i­cal rights. China ap­pre­ci­ates the ar­tic­u­la­tion in the UN’s “Dec­la­ra­tion on the Right to De­vel­op­ment” : “The right to de­vel­op­ment is an in­alien­able hu­man right by virtue of which 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 peo­ple hold the prin­ci­pal po­si­tion con­cern­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment. China val­ues the peo­ple’s supremacy and re­gards the peo­ple as the fun­da­men­tal driver of de­vel­op­ment, striv­ing for the peo­ple, re­ly­ing on the peo­ple, and shar­ing among the peo­ple. It takes im­prov­ing pop­u­lar well­be­ing and well­rounded de­vel­op­ment as the start­ing point and ul­ti­mate goal, and fully mo­bi­lizes peo­ple’s en­thu­si­asm, ini­tia­tive and cre­ativ­ity to par­tic­i­pate in, con­trib­ute to and ben­e­fit from de­vel­op­ment. To build a mod- er­ately pros­per­ous so­ci­ety in all re­spects and re­al­ize the Chi­nese Dream of re­vi­tal­iz­ing the Chi­nese na­tion means to pro­vide bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion, more se­cure em­ploy­ments, more sat­is­fy­ing in­come, more re­li­able so­cial se­cu­rity, bet­ter med­i­cal ser­vices, more com­fort­able hous­ing, and a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment, so that all in­di­vid­u­als can de­velop, con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety, and share the op­por­tu­nity to pur­sue ex­cel­lence and re­al­ize their dreams.

The right to de­vel­op­ment is a unity of in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive hu­man rights. China val­ues both in­di­vid­ual and col­lec­tive hu­man rights as well as bal­ance and mu­tual pro­mo­tion be­tween the two. “The free de­vel­op­ment of each in­di­vid­ual is the con­di­tion for the free de­vel­op­ment of all peo­ple.” Only through in­di­vid­ual de­vel­op­ment can a col­lec­tive de­velop; only in a col­lec­tive can in­di­vid­u­als achieve well-rounded de­vel­op­ment. The right to de­vel­op­ment is a hu­man right owned by each in­di­vid­ual as well as by the coun­try, the na­tion and the en­tire pop­u­la­tion. The right to de­vel­op­ment can be max­i­mized only in the unity of in­di­vid­u­als and col­lec­tive. China val­ues the ar­tic­u­la­tion in UN’s “Dec­la­ra­tion on the Right to De­vel­op­ment” : “Equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity for de­vel­op­ment is a pre­rog­a­tive both of nations and of in­di­vid­u­als who make up nations.” They are all en­ti­tled to par­tic­i­pate in and share the ben­e­fits of de­vel­op­ment on an equal ba­sis.

The re­al­iza­tion of the right to de­vel­op­ment is a his­tor­i­cal course. There is no end ei­ther to de­vel­op­ment or to re­al­iz­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment. The lat­ter is an on­go­ing process of im­prove­ment. China is still in the pri­mary stage of so­cial­ism and will long re­main so. The in­ad­e­quacy in meet­ing the ev­er­grow­ing ma­te­rial and cul­tural needs of the peo­ple be­cause of back­ward so­cial pro­duc­tion will re­main the prin­ci­pal so­cial prob­lem. As a ma­jor de­vel­op­ing coun­try, China faces chal­leng­ing prob­lems and heavy tasks in de­vel­op­ment. In pur­suit of more equal par­tic­i­pa­tion and de­vel­op­ment, China needs con­sis­tent ef­forts to fully re­al­ize the peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment.

The pro­tec­tion of the right to de­vel­op­ment must be sus­tain­able. Sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is a pre­req­ui­site for ma­te­ri­al­iz­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment, an em­bod­i­ment of in­ter­gen­er­a­tional eq­uity. Im­bal­anced, un­co­or­di­nated and un­equal de­vel­op­ment re­flects un­sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, as does an ex­ten­sive de­vel­op­ment model. China is pur­su­ing a sus­tain­able ap­proach to pro­duc­tion, uti­liza­tion and con­sump­tion of nat­u­ral re­sources. China now fol­lows a sus­tain­able and re­silient so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment path so as to meet the needs of both present and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. China has a de­vel­op­ment mind­set of bal­ance and sus­tain­abil­ity, re­gard­ing the har­mo­nious de­vel­op­ment be­tween hu­man­ity and na­ture, be­tween econ­omy and so­ci­ety, as a new means of re­al­iz­ing and pro­tect­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment.

The right to de­vel­op­ment must be en­joyed and shared by all peo­ples. Re­al­iz­ing the right to de­vel­op­ment is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of all coun­tries and also the obli­ga­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. It re­quires gov­ern­ments of all coun­tries to for­mu­late de­vel­op­ment strate­gies and poli­cies suited to their own re­al­i­ties, and it re­quires con­certed ef­forts of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity as a whole. China calls on all coun­tries to pur­sue equal, open, all­round and in­no­va­tive com­mon de­vel­op­ment, pro­motes in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment, and cre­ates con­di­tions for all peo­ples to share the right to de­vel­op­ment. Global eco­nomic gov­er­nance must be based on equal­ity. It must bet­ter re­flect the new world eco­nomic pat­tern, give an en­hanced voice and rep­re­sen­ta­tion to emerg­ing mar­kets and de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, en­sure that all coun­tries en­joy equal­ity of rights, op­por­tu­ni­ties and rules in in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, and en­sure the right to de­vel­op­ment is shared.

II.The Sys­tem En­sur­ing the Peo­ple’s Right to De­vel­op­ment

China has es­tab­lished an in­te­grated sys­tem of leg­is­la­ture, strat­egy de­vel­op­ment, plan­ning, and ju­di­cial rem­edy to en­sure its peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment, and makes con­tin­ued ef­forts to im­prove it. The peo­ple’s right to de­vel­op­ment is re­al­ized through a frame­work of in­sti­tu­tions, strate­gies, poli­cies and mea­sures that are con­struc­tive, prac­ti­cal, ef­fi­cient, and com­pul­sory. reg­u­la­tions to protect the right to de­vel­op­ment of all ci­ti­zens, es­pe­cially that of the eth­nic mi­nori­ties, women, chil­dren, se­nior ci­ti­zens, and the dis­abled. The Law on Re­gional Eth­nic Au­ton­omy stip­u­lates that peo­ple of all eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups shall “speed up the eco­nomic and cul­tural de­vel­op­ment of the eth­nic au­ton­o­mous ar­eas, work to­wards their unity and pros­per­ity, and strive for the com­mon pros­per­ity of all eth­nic groups and for the trans­for­ma­tion of China into a so­cial­ist coun­try with a high level of cul­ture and democ­racy.” The Law on the Pro­tec­tion of Women’s Rights and In­ter­ests stip­u­lates that “Women shall en­joy equal rights with men in all as­pects of po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, cul­tural, so­cial and fam­ily life. It is a ba­sic state pol­icy to re­al­ize equal­ity be­tween men and women. The state shall take nec­es­sary mea­sures to grad­u­ally im­prove var­i­ous sys­tems for the pro­tec­tion of the rights and in­ter­ests of women and to elim­i­nate all kinds of dis­crim­i­na­tion against women.” The Law on the Pro­tec­tion of Mi­nors stip­u­lates that “Mi­nors shall en­joy the right to life, the right to de­vel­op­ment, the right to be­ing pro­tected, and the right to par­tic­i­pa­tion.” The Law on the Pro­tec­tion of the Rights and In­ter­ests of the Elderly stip­u­lates that “The state shall protect the law­ful rights and in­ter­ests of the elderly. The elderly shall have the right to ob­tain ma­te­rial as­sis­tance from the state and so­ci­ety, the right to en­joy so­cial ser­vices and so­cial pref­er­en­tial treat­ment, and the right to par­tic­i­pate in so­cial de­vel­op­ment and share the achieve­ments in de­vel­op­ment.” The Law on the Pro­tec­tion of Dis­abled Per­sons stip­u­lates that “Dis­abled per­sons shall en­joy equal rights with other ci­ti­zens in po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, cul­tural, so­cial, fam­ily life and other as­pects.” .


Vot­ers cast their votes for deputies to the lo­cal peo­ple’s con­gress in Baokang county, Hubei prov­ince, on Oct 10, 2016.

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