President stresses importance of putting people first in development
President Xi Jinping highlighted people living a happy life as the biggest human right on Wednesday, reiterating that the human rights issue should not be politicized or used as a tool or a pretext to interfere in other countries'internal affairs.
He made the remarks in a meeting via video link from Beijing with United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. The UN human rights chief and her team arrived in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on Monday, and their six-day visit to the country will also take them to the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
During the meeting, Xi briefed Bachelet on China's human rights development and reaffirmed the commitment of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government to upholding and protecting human rights in all areas.
He said that China has successfully found a path of human rights development in keeping with the trend of the times and its national reality, and that the human rights of the Chinese people are guaranteed like never before.
Since 2009, China has formulated and implemented four national human rights action plans to promote the free, well-rounded and common development of all individuals. The latest action plan was published in September and set the objectives and tasks of respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in the period of 2021 to 2025.
"We have been advancing whole-process people's democracy, promoting legal safeguards for human rights and upholding social equity and justice. The Chinese people now enjoy fuller and more extensive and comprehensive democratic rights," Xi said.
He underlined the importance of respecting different countries'paths of human rights development, saying that any system or model blindly copied from another country－regardless of the historical, specific and practical contexts－will not only look out of place, but also bring disastrous consequences.
Xi noted that for developing countries, the rights to subsistence and development are the primary human rights. More efforts are needed to achieve development of higher quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security, in order to provide strong safeguards for the advancement of human rights, he said.
He stressed the importance of putting people first in promoting human rights development, saying that it is important to take the people's interests as the fundamental purpose and goal, address the most pressing issues the people face and their immediate concerns, and strive to deliver a better life to the people.
"How a country is doing on human rights is essentially gauged by whether the interests of its people are upheld, and whether the people enjoy a growing sense of fulfillment, happiness and security," he said.
Xi underlined the need to step up global human rights governance and said that when it comes to human rights issues, there is no such thing as a flawless utopia.
"Countries do not need patronizing lecturers, still less should human rights issues be politicized and used as a tool to apply double standards, or as a pretext to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries," he said.
It is important to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, advocate humanity's common values, and steer global human rights governance toward greater fairness, justice, equity and inclusiveness, he added.
Xi expressed China's commitment to actively engaging in human rights dialogue and cooperation with all other parties on the basis of equality and mutual respect to expand common understanding, reduce differences, promote mutual learning, seek progress together and jointly advance the international human rights cause for the greater benefit of people across the world.
Bachelet appreciated China for its efforts and achievements in eliminating poverty, protecting human rights and realizing economic and social development, and commended China's important role in upholding multilateralism, confronting global challenges such as climate change and promoting sustainable development across the world.
The high commissioner said she is confident that this visit will give her a better understanding of China, and that her office would like to enhance communication and explore cooperation with the Chinese side to make joint efforts for the progress of the global human rights cause.