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Monday, June 8, 2015, 10:31

Rights report highlights rule of law

By Xinhua

BEIJING - The Chinese government on Monday released a white paper upholding China's unique pattern of protecting human rights and elaborated on progress made in 2014.

"The tremendous achievements China has made in its human rights endeavors fully demonstrate that it is taking the correct path of human rights development that suits its national conditions," reads the white paper published by the State Council Information Office with the title "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2014."

In 2014, China made notable progress in realizing its development targets. By the end of the year, among all the 29 countable or measurable indicators for economic and social development set forth in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015), 12 had been over-fulfilled, three had been nearly fulfilled and 11 had made smooth progress, accounting for 90 percent of the total.

The mid-stage assessment of China's National Human Rights Action Plan (2012-2015), done in December 2014, showed that most of the targets set in the plan had been reached, and a larger part of the quantitative indices had been half or even more achieved.

China's legal reform gained momentum last year as the Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership adopted a comprehensive plan to promote the rule of law at a key meeting last October.

"The fundamental purposes of the blueprint are to protect civic rights, to defend human dignity and to put basic human rights into practice," the report reads.

The white paper is China's 12th report on human rights since the government began releasing such reports in 1991.

The report, with nine chapters and about 14,000 words, details the progress the country has made in protecting the people's rights to development, democracy, impartial trial and clean environment, as well as the rights of women, children, senior citizens, ethnic minorities and the disabled.

HIGHER INCOME, BETTER EDUCATION

The nationwide annual per capita disposable income reached 20,167 yuan (US$3,290) in 2014, up 8 percent over the previous year and faster than the economic growth rate in 2014.h Substantial efforts were made to alleviate poverty, including more government funds in infrastructure in the least-developed rural areas and relocation of people in uninhabitable regions.

By the end of 2014, the number of rural residents, with an annual income less than 2,300 yuan, had decreased by 12.32 million to 70.17 million.

Educational equity has been better guaranteed. About 92.6 percent of children of school age received the nine-year compulsory education and 86.5 percent of them were enrolled in senior high schools.

LEGAL REFORM IMPROVES JUDICIAL JUSTICE

In 2014 judicial justice and transparency have been greatly improved thanks to reform measures in judicial system.

Courts, procuratorates and police worked hard to prevent and correct unjust, false and wrongful practice from investigation, prosecution to trials.

In 2014, courts nationwide reheard 1,317 cases and corrected a number of wrongful ones. One of the high-profile wrongful convictions was a rape-murder case in 1996 by an Inner Mongolian court, in which an 18-year-old man named Huugjilt was convicted and executed. And 18 years later in December 2014, he was acquitted of the crimes.

The Supreme People's Court established websites for litigants to follow the progress of their cases and to disclose judgment papers. In 2014, a total of 6.29 million judgments were published through the website.

Procuratorates also set up a nationwide system for case procedural information inquiry, legal documentation disclosure, information disclosure of major cases, and application by appointment for defense and representation.

In 2014, China revised the Administrative Litigation Law, expanding citizens' rights to sue the government and ease the procedure. Courts across the country heard 151,000 administrative cases of first instance and concluded 131,000 of them, up 16.3 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively, over 2013.

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