Advance the Global Human Rights Cause and Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind
– Address at the Opening Ceremony of the First South-South Human Rights Forum
H.E. Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
7 December 2017
On behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations on the opening of the first South-South Human Rights Forum and our warm welcome to you all.
This high-level international human rights forum is held not long after the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Congress identified the goal of forging a new form of international relations and building a community with a shared future for mankind. This is China’s answer to the question where the human society is heading, and it has also created opportunities for the development of the human rights cause. This forum, under the theme of “Building a Community of Shared Future for Human Beings: New Opportunity for South-South Human Rights Development”, is thus both relevant and important. President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message delivered just now by Minister Huang Kunming, together with Minister Huang’s important remarks has provided important guidance for the success of the forum.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Human rights for all is what the Chinese government and people have been striving for. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the CPC and through unremitting efforts, the Chinese people have scored unprecedented achievements in human history and blazed an oriental pathway toward modernization.
China has managed to meet the basic living needs of its 1.3 billion-plus people, lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty, and created 770 million jobs. We have put in place the world’s largest education system, social welfare system and community-level democratic election system, making historic progress in human rights development in China. China’s endeavors have also provided new viable solutions to challenges in the protection of human rights worldwide.
China’s experience shows that human rights can be protected in more than one way. Countries can find their own models of human rights protection in light of their national conditions and people’s needs. The key factor contributing to China’s remarkable achievements in its human rights endeavors is its firm commitment to a human rights development path with Chinese characteristics.
– This is a path based on China’s reality. Experience is the mother of wisdom. China’s human rights development path is rooted in China’s 5000-year history and culture, inspired by our exploration and hard work of more than 170 years since modern times and underpinned by the great practice of the past 68 years since the founding of the People’s Republic, especially the great practice of reform and opening-up over the past four decades. By integrating the universal principles of human rights with China’s specific conditions, promoting mutually reinforcing progress in democracy and people’s well-being, and upholding peace and development in a holistic way, we have blazed a path of human rights development with Chinese characteristics.
– This is a people-centered path. As human rights and democracy are all about the people, the ultimate goal of this path is to serve the interests of the Chinese people. By upholding the people’s role as masters of the state and developing socialist consultative democracy, we have worked to improve democracy, diversify its forms and expand its channels. By ensuring the principal status of our people, we have worked to enhance their well-being and promote well-rounded human development and common prosperity for everyone. The Chinese people know the best about China’s human rights situation and are in the best position to decide on China’s path of human rights development.
– This is a path where development is a top priority. We believe that development is what matters. We have pursued innovation-driven, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development to build up China’s economic strength. We have made every effort to advance people’s well-being in employment, health care, education and social security so that our people have a greater sense of fulfillment as they contribute to and gain from development. In the earnest implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are committed to leaving no one behind in our endeavor of poverty eradication. By sharing with the world China’s development experience and opportunities, we are connecting the Chinese dream with the dream of the world, making even more contribution to the human rights cause of the world.
– This is a path guided by the rule of law. As a Chinese adage goes, “Law is the very foundation of governance.” We have worked to improve the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics, at the heart of which is the Constitution, and to promote the integrated development of rule of law for the country, the government and society. We have pressed ahead with the judicial system reform, centering around the judicial accountability reform to make fairness and justice prevail. In safeguarding international fairness and justice, China firmly upholds the basic principles of international law with the United Nations Charter at its core. We believe that all countries are equal regardless of their size, and we reject the politicization of human rights or the practice of double standards in the protection of human rights.
– This is a path where opening-up is the driving force for growth. Reform and opening-up is the most distinctive feature of contemporary China. China has championed world multi-polarity, economic globalization and cultural diversity. To improve our own development, we have drawn on both the wisdom of our own civilization and the strengths of other cultures in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness. In this process, China refuses to stay insensitive to the changing times or blindly follow in others’ steps. We respect the development path and human rights protection model of other countries that are determined by their own free will. We stand for dialogue, exchanges and mutual learning for common progress on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
The 19th National Congress of the CPC set the goal for China’s future development. By 2020, we will have finished the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and rooted out poverty. By 2035, we will have basically achieved modernization. By 2050, we will have developed China into a great modem socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful. Under the guidance of this blueprint, China will scale new heights in its development and open a new chapter in its human rights cause.