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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Monday, March 15, 2004

People's Daily:"Inclusion of human rights an important milestone"


Uygur Prisoners"By adding 'the state respects and safeguards human rights' to the Constitution, the present amendment has promoted 'human rights ' from a political concept to a legal one for the first time, and the main body in respecting and safeguarding human rights has been upgraded from the Party and government to the state. Therefore, respecting and safeguarding human rights have been raised from the will of the Party and government to that of the people and state, from the political concept and value of the Party and government in assuming power and running administration to the political concept and value of the state in construction and development efforts, and from a provision of the Party and government's policy to a principle of the state's fundamental law. "

This is how the People's Daily, a Chinese official news organ, saw the historic amendment to the Chinese constitution passed late Sunday at the People's National Congress Beijing.

Whilst some commentators claim Human Rights enshrinement in the Constitution is nothing more than window dressing others, myself included, see it as being a watershed event of historical proportions. Combined with it's sister amendment guaranteeing private ownership of property the constitutional amendment has guaranteedthat China will enter a new era of social and economic development and ultimately the decline of socialism as a political ideology.

I will be looking at this historic event a little more closely in a wrap up article to the 2004 NPC coming later today.