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The Standing Committee of National People's Congress of China has made the decision to ratify International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights--Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson
(1 March 2001)

2001/03/01

Q: It is learnt that the Standing Committee of National People's Congress of China has made the decision to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. What is your comment?

A: The 20th Session of the Standing Committee of the 9th National People's Congress (NPC) adopted by vote the decision of the NPC Standing Committee on ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is one of the most influential international instruments on human rights. Ratifying the Covenant is a major step taken by China in the field of human rights at the start of the new century, which is of far-reaching significance.

The Chinese Government has all along respected the universal principle of human rights. After long-term exploration and unremitting efforts, we have found the right path to promoting and developing human rights that suits China's national conditions. In recent years, China has witnessed sustained, rapid and healthy economic growth, deepening reform, and all-round social progress. With the successful completion of the Ninth Five-Year Plan, the overall living standard of the Chinese people has further improved, achieving two historic leaps from poverty to a life with just sufficient food and clothing and then to a relatively comfortable life. A basic framework of social security network has taken initial shape. Great achievements have been scored in the reemployment programme. New breakthroughs have been made in the reform of the housing system. There has been comprehensive development in social undertakings in the fields of culture, education, science and technology, TV, radio and film industry, press and publishing, public health and sports. In the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights, China has made fresh achievements that have drawn the attention of the world.

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has extensive content that covers various aspects of economic and social life in China. China has completed within a relative short period of time the series of legal procedures from signing to ratifying the Covenant. This fully demonstrates the consistent principled position of China committing itself to the promotion and protection of human rights and active engagement in international cooperation in the field of human rights. It also reflects the firm resolution and confidence of China in safeguarding full enjoyment of various economic, social, and cultural rights by its citizens.

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