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For a Life of Contentment

China Daily | Updated: 2022-12-06 07:26

-The Rationale for China's Human Rights Development

China Foundation for Human Rights Development

New China Research, Xinhua News Agency




I. The Basics: Rights to Subsistence, Development, Dignity and Happiness

1.1 Removing the "biggest obstacle to human rights" for 1.4 billion people

1.2 Promoting "holistic human rights" in a coordinated way

1.3 Promoting high standards of "equal human rights"

1.4 Fully participating in global human rights governance

II. The Rationale: Living a Life of Contentment is the Ultimate Human Right

2.1 The core philosophy, the principle of democracy, and the focus on people's livelihoods

2.2 The theoretical rationale

2.3 The objective, law-based governance, and the evaluation criteria

2.4 Global vision

III. Exploring New Dimensions in Respecting, Protecting Human Rights

— Determined Leadership

— Down-to-Earth Approach

— Development-Oriented

— Legal Guidance

— Open-Mindedness



It is a great dream of the human society that every one can enjoy human rights in the full sense of the term.

Given the diversity of civilizations, each country is unique with its own history, culture and institutions, as well as its particular development level and path. But promoting and protecting human rights has been a common pursuit of the entire international community.

The emphasis on human dignity and values and the people-centered philosophy is deeply rooted in traditional Chinese virtues, and has been followed throughout China's human rights progress. According to Confucianism, the philosophy with the greatest influence on the Chinese people, "a benevolent person loves others," treats people sincerely and kindly, and upholds human dignity with compassion. When "the widowed, lonely, disabled and ill can all be cared for," and people deal with interpersonal and social relations harmoniously and genially, the society will embrace good fortune and people will be united for a common cause.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the crystallization of such lofty aspirations of mankind. All human beings, so reads the first article, are "endowed with reason and conscience." The addition of "conscience" to this article is the embodiment of the concept of benevolence cherished by Chinese Confucianism. The phrase contains a strong "Chinese conscience," and is saturated with oriental wisdom between the lines.

In the practice of promoting human rights progress, China has followed a path of human rights development that conforms to the trend of the times and suits its national conditions, by combining the Marxist outlook on human rights with the country's actual conditions and the fine traditional Chinese culture, while drawing on outstanding achievements of other civilizations.

A staunch defender of human rights, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has since its founding united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in making unremitting efforts to fight for, respect, protect and develop human rights. It is under the leadership of the Party that China's human rights cause has achieved all-round development, made historic achievements, and created a miracle of rapid economic development and long-term social stability that has rarely been seen in world history.

China's outlook on human rights has been continuously enriched and improved in practice, with its own cognitive perspective and ideological connotation based on the actual conditions of the country. China is committed to protecting and promoting human rights in development, and follows the "development-based approach to human rights." Hunger that once threatened the lives of hundreds of millions of people has made China keenly aware that poverty is the biggest obstacle to the realization of human rights, and that the rights to subsistence and development are the primary basic human rights. Colonial aggression against China following the Opium War has led the nation to fully understand that it is impossible to talk about human rights without sovereignty, and difficult to safeguard certain individuals' human rights without protecting collective rights.

Human rights have historical, specific and practical contexts, and there are no fixed standards or identical models for its development and protection. The path of human rights development in each country should be respected, and the human rights conditions of that country should be judged by its own people. Based on the human rights philosophy that centers on the people, China has proposed that "living a life of contentment is the ultimate human right."

As pointed out in the report to 20th CPC National Congress: This country is its people; the people are the country. As the Communist Party of China has led the people in fighting to establish and develop the People's Republic, it has really been fighting for their support. Bringing benefit to the people is the fundamental principle of governance. Working for the people's wellbeing is an essential part of the Party's commitment to serving the public good and exercising governance for the people. We must ensure and improve the people's wellbeing in the course of pursuing development and encourage everyone to work hard together to meet the people's aspirations for a better life.

We must strive to realize, safeguard, and advance the fundamental interests of all our people. To this end, we must do everything within our capacity to resolve the most practical problems that are of the greatest and most direct concern to the people. We will stay engaged with our people and their communities, adopt more measures that deliver real benefits to the people and win their approval, and work hard to resolve the pressing difficulties and problems that concern them most. We will improve the basic public services system to raise public service standards and make public services more balanced and accessible, so as to achieve solid progress in promoting common prosperity.

The journey of China's human rights development is both rich and colorful, systematic and pragmatic. The country has formed a contemporary Chinese outlook on human rights with "people" as the center, "development" as the driving force and "a life of contentment" as the goal through continuous progress, and has enriched the global human rights cause.

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