• Introduction
• Founders and Board Members
• Honorary Advisors
• Foundation Events
• China This Week
• Washington Journal of Modern China
• US-China Policy Review
• China Forum
• USPCF Staff
• Other Links

24 May 2004
• Beijing Launches Campaign to Protect Human Rights
• China Promises Common Prosperity for All
• China’s IT Market will be World’s Largest by 2008

Beijing Launches Campaign to Protect Human Rights

On May 25, China’s highest legislative organ, the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), announced that China will launch a year-long clean-up campaign to probe human rights infringement crimes committed by government officials across the country. The sweeping investigation will focus on crimes like inquisition by torture, extorted confession, illegal detention, interference with citizen's voting rights, and other crimes that lead to human rights infringement.

"China launches the campaign to practice the principle of 'respect for and protection of human rights' that has been newly written into the Constitution and to better protect people's legitimate rights and interests," said Wang Zhenchuan, deputy procurator-general of the SPP.

The SPP has ordered local procuratorates at all levels to publicize their telephone numbers and e-mail addresses to accept supervision from the public. Wang pledged that procurators themselves will first bear the idea of protecting human rights in dealing with such crimes and punishing those officials who infringe on peoples’ legitimate rights and interests.

Archive of Past News Summaries
Back to Top
China Promises Common Prosperity for All

According to the Policy Statement on Poverty Alleviation and Elimination released on May 26, the Chinese government pledged to reduce poverty and accomplish common prosperity for all Chinese citizens. The statement was made public during the Global Conference on Poverty Reduction Tuesday in Shanghai, which was convened to exchange poverty relief experience acquired by different countries and, with this sharing and learning from each other, to promote massive reduction and eradication of poverty. The Policy Statement is the most recent sign that China’s leaders have shifted from a quantitative to a qualitative notion of growth.

The statement says that during the first 20 years of the 21st century, the Chinese government will exert its utmost to build a higher-level affluent society for its 1.3 billion people. The government will do so on the basis of the development strategy that underscores human benefits and pursues the comprehensive, harmonious and sustainable growth, according to the statement.

While China’s leaders have created extensive and rapid economic development over the past thirty years, this development has been concentrated in China’s coastal areas. Even within the highly developed coastal region, most of the wealth has been concentrated within a minority of the population. China’s leaders have now begun to enact timely policies to shift the focus of development from the wealthy coast to the less-developed interior regions. They hope such policies will promote sustainable growth and the resulting social stability that is necessary for their continued hold of power.

There were 85 million people in dire need in China's rural areas by the end of 2003, and 2,900 of them do not have adequate food and clothing. In urban areas there are 22.35 million poor people who are living below the state's urban poverty line. At the conference, Premier Wen Jiabao promised yesterday to lift these 30 million citizens out of extreme poverty within 10 years. "We will try to help a small portion of our population who still live in poverty have access to adequate food and clothing at an early date in the next 10 years," Wen said.

Since economic reforms started in 1978 China has lifted more than 200 million rural people out of poverty, defined as those who had "inadequate" food and clothing, and earning less than 625 yuan a year. This is significantly lower than the US$ 1 a day international standard.

In his speech, Mr Wen said plans included building infrastructure in poor villages and generally improving living standards. "We will adhere to the people-oriented principle and achieve comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development." Since taking office just over a year ago, the premier has sought to address a widening income gap instead of merely seeking higher economic growth. The mainland aimed to spend more than 12 billion yuan on poverty reduction this year, bringing accumulated funding to 115 billion yuan since 1980.

Archive of Past News Summaries
Back to Top
China’s IT Market will be World’s Largest by 2008

An official from China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII) recently stated that China will become the largest information technology (IT) market in the world within the next five years. Information technology has been utilized in almost all sectors of China's economy. E-business, e-government and technical upgrading of state-owned enterprises will all provide more opportunities for the development of the industry.

Guo Fuhua, deputy director of the MII’s policy regulating department, emphasized earlier this week that China's ever-increasing demand is fueling the rapid growth of the IT industry. Guo cited the increasing proliferation personal computers in Chinese homes and stated that at the current rate of increase China will become the world’s largest market for computers and accessories by 2008. In 2004, China would likely turn out 48 million computers, a rise of 29 percent over last year. The figure is expected to reach 90 million in 2008.

In addition, the demand for electronic household appliances and telecommunication services are also expected to soar in the near future. Although household appliances are widespread in China, most of them are in need of upgrading or repairs. The new generation of digital electronic products will enter Chinese homes in large quantities in the years ahead.

Although China already ranks number one in the number of telephone subscribers and number two in Internet subscribers, the country's telecommunication market still has great potential. Statistics show that every 100 people now have 21.2 fixed phones in China, while the ownership rate of mobile phones for Chinese people is 20.9 percent, both lower than those of developed countries.

The fact that China will become the largest automobile market will also stimulate the development of China’s IT industry, said Guo, citing that the automobile industry has a close relationship with information technology. The utilization of advanced information technologies in the auto industry will promote the use of intelligent automobile systems like fuel, chassis and truck-mounted systems.

Archive of Past News Summaries
Back to Top
   316 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 201-202 • Washington DC 20003 • phone: 202.547.8615 • fax: 202.547.8853