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China Voice: Facts speak for China's human rights progress

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

BEIJING, May 26 (Xinhua) -- A government report detailing progress made in human rights in 2013 attested to the fact that China has pursued improvement of human rights with solid measures and constant efforts.

Last year witnessed a spate of actions taken to improve the human rights cause in the nation.

In 2013, China abolished the reeducation through labor system, which had been in operation for more than 50 years, said the report on China's human rights in 2013 issued by the State Council Information Office on Monday.

It was also decided that people who were receiving reeducation through labor as prescribed by law should be released and exempted from their remaining terms, according to the report.

That single fact alone should serve as a reminder to countries that have pointed fingers through biased and irresponsible remarks that blemish China's human rights.

It is suggested that those countries spend some time reading other facts listed in the report.

Also in 2013, remarkable improvements were made to promote and protect the freedom of speech of Chinese citizens. The Internet has become one of the most important channels for the public to express opinions, according to the report.

Chinese people are actively involved in online services, with blog and personal web page users reaching 437 million and social networking website users topping 278 million by the end of 2013.

Seeing the Internet as a positive channel, the nation has been working hard to embrace it. Besides popularizing satellite communication and computer networks, the nation carried out a "broadband China" strategy to facilitate public infrastructure.

The government has also used the Internet to enhance its administrative transparency. A China Court's Live Trial website has been set up to broadcast court trials. In a significant move, the Jinan Intermediate People's Court live-streamed Bo Xilai's court trial through a microblog, which received extensive and positive attention from the public.

China's social security developed rapidly in 2013, when China put in place a rudimentary social security system, which is the world's largest and is suitable for China's current social conditions.

According to the report, by 2013, over 6.28 million disabled people in both urban and rural areas received the minimum subsistence allowance, and 4.014 million disabled people in urban areas and 16.383 million in rural areas participated in the respective endowment insurance systems.

Efforts were also made to promote cultural diversity. The languages of ethnic minorities are preserved and promoted. In Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Daily is published in the Uygur, standard Chinese, Kazakh and Mongolian languages. The Xinjiang Television Station also broadcasts its programs in these four languages.

Air quality is essential for people's health. In order to tackle the large-scale smog in China's central and eastern areas, the State Council issued the Action Plan for Preventing and Controlling Air Pollution in September 2013, imposing 35 concrete measures, including reducing the emissions of air contaminants and optimizing the energy mix.

The pursuit of improved human rights conditions is a path that never ends as socio-economic conditions are changing constantly. Though faced with challenges along the way, China's unswerving efforts to enhance human rights are there for everybody to see.

Actions speak louder than words. Every unbiased and reasonable observer can draw a fair conclusion when it comes to China's human rights protection.

Meanwhile, China is still a large developing country. Therefore, greater efforts are needed to bring higher standards to human rights protection.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140526/china-voice-facts-speak-chinas-human-rights-progress