China boasts of record on rights
Tuesday 01 April 1997
The distinction is largely academic for the families of those who have been locked away. Relatives of Wang Dan, the former student leader who last year was sentenced to 11 years for subversion, say he is suffering from stomach, throat and prostate problems. Mr Zhang insisted the prisoner was in good health, and "even joined a singing contest in prison".
There was little evidence yesterday, as China published its annual White Paper on its own human rights record, of the "more receptive" stance US vice-president Al Gore said he witnessed last week when raising the subject with China's leaders. Peking has been buoyed by France's decision not to co-sponsor a motion criticising China at the UN Human Rights Convention in Geneva. The White Paper maintained China's position that the right to food and shelter transcends other considerations. "The progress China made in its human rights undertakings in 1996 has once again proved China always places top priority on its people's right to subsistence and development," it said. There was no mention of dissidents.
Economic growth, legal reform and the "strike hard" crackdown on crime were cited as evidence of improved human rights. Last month, China scrapped the charge of counter-revolution in favour of endangering state security. On paper there have been many reforms. The problem is the gulf between theory and practice.
Yesterday, Mr Zhang was asked why Bao Tong, 63, released from prison last May, is still under house arrest. Mr Bao was the most senior political figure jailed after the Tiananmen Square massacre . "High-level departments think he is not suitable any more for ministerial-level housing and want to change his residence but have so far failed to do so," Mr Zhang said.
- 4 Alex Salmond: 'The rocks would melt with the sun before I'd ever set foot in the House of Lords'
'The Fappening': Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
The Fappening: Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...