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President Jiang Zemin Meets with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
2001/05/14

President Jiang Zemin met with Mrs. Mary Robinson, UN high commissioner for human rights at Zhongnanhai on November 21. The two sides held friendly discussions on human rights issues.
Jiang said that the Chinese modern history has witnessed relentless struggles by the Chinese people for national independence and democratic rights. And the ongoing economic, ethical, cultural and legal construction is to ensure that 1.2 billion Chinese people can live and work in peace and contentment, and fully enjoy human rights and freedoms. China is the biggest developing country in the world with a large population and relatively low level of education and productivity. Such reality must be taken into full account when things are handled in China. By drawing upon historical experiences, "we have found a path to promote human rights which is suitable to China's conditions." Through decades of unremitting efforts and particularly for the past 20 years and more since the reform and opening-up, the living standards of the Chinese people have been significantly raised.
President Jiang said that it has been a consistent stance of the Chinese Government to carry out international exchanges and cooperation in the field of human rights. Countries differ in history, culture, social system and level of development, and it is inevitable for them to have different way, approach and process in which human rights are realized. The world should be a colorful one. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should have the right to choose their own form of democracy and political system in light of their national conditions. Countries should work together to explore effective ways of promoting and protecting human rights through dialogue based on equality and mutual respect.
Robinson agreed with Jiang that the world should be a colorful place and each country have its own specific national conditions. She said that since she became high commissioner, she has stressed that the economic, social, cultural and political rights of citizens be given equal status. She urged international dialogue on human rights issues. She is willing to do her part in bridging the gap between the North and South and promoting international cooperation. Robinson believed that the Chinese Government has conducted fruitful exchanges and cooperation with many countries for the promotion and protection of human rights, and has won wide acclaim from the international community. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights stands ready to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese Government in the field of human rights.
Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program were present at the meeting.

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