VI. Facilitating the Development of Human Rights in the World
Over the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, China has redoubled its efforts to promote human rights, sharing its experience in this regard with the rest of the world, and creating more development opportunities for all countries. China follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in global governance, with a mission of making more and greater contributions to humanity. China values the rights to subsistence, development and peace and all other human rights, and strives to further this cause throughout the world.
Increasing foreign assistance. Over the years, China has provided foreign assistance to Asian and African developing countries for use in poverty reduction, education, healthcare, agriculture and infrastructure, involving major construction projects in agriculture, industry, transport, energy and power, information technology and communication, helping resolve national problems and safeguard the local peoples' life needs. From 1950 to 2016, despite its own limited development and living standards, China provided RMB400 billion of foreign aid to other countries, conducted over 5, 000 foreign assistance projects – of which almost 3, 000 are turn-key projects – and organized 11, 000 training programs in China for more than 260, 000 persons from other developing countries. By 2017, China had dispatched 25, 000 medical workers to 72 countries and regions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and Oceania, who have treated 280 million patients and saved countless lives, winning high praise from the governments and peoples of the recipient countries.
Improving development capacity. In recent years, President Xi Jinping has announced a raft of foreign assistance initiatives and measures, which fully demonstrate that China as a major country lives up to its responsibility for advancing the interests of humanity. Within the framework of South-South cooperation China has steadily expanded its assistance to other developing countries, with more efforts to build and improve platforms for regional cooperation, while fully relying on mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS, the ASEAN Plus China (10+1) Summit, China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), China-CELAC Forum, and China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF). All are designed to improve the development capacity of the countries involved.
China has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, initiated the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank (NDB) for development projects in BRICS, set up the Silk Road Fund and the Assistance Fund for South-South Cooperation, and founded the Center for International Knowledge on Development (CIKD) and the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development (ISSCAD). All the above are aimed to encourage the recipient countries to enhance their capacity for self-development, reduce poverty, improve their people's living standards, and protect the environment. The port-industry-city integrated development model, initiated by China and adopted by Djibouti, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Kuantan in Malaysia, has been welcomed by these Belt and Road countries.
China is steadily increasing foreign assistance training. By organizing training courses, dispatching management personnel, technical professionals and young volunteers, and offering scholarships, China has provided advanced study and training for government officials, higher education degree and diploma programs, and technical training and exchange programs for various kinds of personnel from other developing countries, to share development experience and technologies in a timely manner. From 2013 to 2017, by establishing economic and trade cooperation zones in the Belt and Road countries, China helped create more than 200, 000 jobs in the host countries. Once the 10 major China-Africa cooperation programs are in place, they will help Africa add a total highway length of nearly 30, 000 km, add clean water treatment capacity of over 9 million tons/day, and create about 900, 000 jobs. The Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), which opened to traffic in 2017, has helped increase Kenya's GDP by 1.5-2 percent.
Providing humanitarian relief. In the early days of reform and opening-up, China's humanitarian relief focused on helping other developing countries respond to severe natural disasters. This included emergency aid to a number of African countries stricken by severe droughts and to Bangladesh hit by windstorms. After 2001, China increased its participation in international humanitarian relief, taking an active part in activities launched by UN organizations and expanding its share of aid year by year.
Since 2004, China had provided over 300 international humanitarian relief programs, with an average annual growth rate of 29.4 percent. These relief programs mainly comprise: technical aid to Southeast Asian countries against avian influenza; material and personnel assistance and assistance in cash, to Guinea-Bissau against locust plague and cholera, to Mexico against A/H1N1 flu, to Africa against Ebola, yellow fever, plague and other infectious diseases, to Iran, Haiti, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico against earthquakes, to Madagascar against hurricanes, to Indian Ocean countries against tsunami, to Pakistan against floods, to the US against Hurricane Katrina, to Chile against mountain fires, to the Caribbean countries against hurricanes; food and goods assistance to the DPRK, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In March 2014, when Ebola broke out in many West African countries, China provided four rounds of humanitarian relief, with a total value of RMB750 million, and deployed more than 1, 000 experts and medical workers. China has enacted laws and regulations on international humanitarian relief and improving its related working mechanisms, and forged stronger cooperation on humanitarian relief with UN organizations and NGOs. In 1979, China joined the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and World Food Program (WFP), resumed its activities in the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and made many donations to the UNHCR. The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), China Charity Federation (CCF), China Welfare Institute (CWI), China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) and private charities, along with legal persons of certain enterprises and societies in China, have all engaged in international humanitarian relief, demonstrating to the international community China's sincere desire to engage in international humanitarian relief and to protect human rights through tangible actions.
Safeguarding world peace. China, along with other countries, is constantly committed to maintaining world peace, supporting international and regional anti-terror cooperation, and creating a peaceful and harmonious environment for the development of human rights in the world. China has made a significant contribution to the right to peace by promoting development with peace and by consolidating peace through development. In recent years, China has provided solutions to regional flashpoint issues: putting forward proposals and initiatives for the Palestinian issue on many occasions; engaging in serious negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue; actively mediating for the national reconciliation in South Sudan; pressing for a political settlement to the Syrian issue; promoting peace negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban; and facilitating the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue.
China has firmly supported and vigorously participated in UN peacekeeping operations. In April 1990, China dispatched the first five military observers to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), marking China's official participation in UN peacekeeping operations. By May 2018, China had dispatched 37, 000 military and 2, 700 police personnel to participate in 30 UN peacekeeping missions in Sudan, Lebanon, Cambodia, Liberia and other countries and regions. China ranks first in terms of the number of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and is the second largest donor country to UN peacekeeping operations. In September 2017, China completed the registration of 8, 000 standby peacekeeping forces in the UN. These are the significant measures by which China has met its responsibilities as a major country, fulfilled its promise to support UN peacekeeping operations with concrete actions, and promoted the cause of human rights throughout the world.