Some of these cookies are essential to the operation of the site,
while others help to improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.
English to Chinese: Paris Appeal of May 1st 2009 General field: Other Detailed field: Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.
Source text - English Paris Appeal of May 1st 2009.
We note that
• Everywhere throughout the world workers are faced with the consequences of the crisis of a system which is on no account their own system. No continent is spared. Whether it be the United States where 25,000 jobs are axed every day— according to official figures — or Brazil, where 300,000 jobs have already been lost, or France where 3,000 jobs have been lost every day since November. Everywhere labour is being destroyed;
• In China by February 20 million migrant workers had been laid off or were still looking for another job. Two months later that number was estimated to have soared to 30 million;
• The International Labour Office expects another 52 million workers to become jobless worldwide in 2009, at the very moment when the G-20 has decided to devote $5,000 billion to "the most comprehensive support program for the financial sector in modern times" in order "to recapitalize banks, recapitalize financial institutions, and address the problem of impaired assets."
• In every country the rights and gains won by workers after decades of struggles are being undermined; social welfare, healthcare systems, pensions, public services, education are being dismantled or attacked;
• In China there are reports of "Three Suspensions" which mean: the end of wage increases, the suspension of negotiations between the workers and the bosses, putting an end to the implementation of rights granted by contract;
• In every country freedom to join a trade union and the right to organize are being jeopardized or eroded as a result of this onslaught on labour.
• Everywhere unions are required to join in the attacks on rights and gains by agreeing to be co-opted into "governance", whether at the international or national level or in the workplace.
We have been informed that
In China as a result of this situation the number of industrial disputes has increased dramatically. Chinese activists report that not a day passes without strikes and demonstrations: strikes in Chongqing and Guangdong in the south of the country, conflicts in Linfen or Hebei in the north …
• Real solutions will not be found unless the conditions of workers, their families and the peoples are taken into account as a crucial question;
• Throughout the world workers should be in a position where they can organize freely, act on the terrain of class which is their own, negotiate and enter into contracts;
• That those fundamental demands codified in ILO conventions 87 and 98 are more than ever a vital necessity to defend labour and the entire civilization in the present situation of world crisis;
• That this right to organize has no borders, that at any time and anywhere, in every country, workers have acted so as to be able to organize freely, to coalesce and avail themselves of the traditional methods of workers' action, namely the right to strike and demonstrate.
We declare that
• Workers wherever they live cannot be indifferent to the fate of their Chinese brothers and sisters, to the fate of 350 million workers;
• Workers worldwide have the same interests and "an attack on one is an attack on all;"
We, labour activists, trade unionists, friends of the Chinese people, gathered today on the eve of May Day, International Workers' Day, decide to launch an international appeal for the creation of a "Committee for Workers 'Rights in China"
We solemnly pledge that we will
- by any means at our disposal communicate the information on workers' actions in China.
- respond to any international appeal to solidarity with Chinese workers.
- support any initiative that provides practical help for the Chinese labour movement as it is seeking its way.
The "Committee for Workers 'Rights in China" being founded is independent of all governments and international institutions. It does not compete with any other organization. It will act on the basis of the strict observance of the international traditions of the labour movement, which require that workers give each other mutual help in solidarity beyond borders.
English to Chinese: Chen Duxiu and the origins of the Chinese section of the Fourth International General field: Other Detailed field: History
Source text - English Chen Duxiu and the origins of the Chinese section of the Fourth International
Chen Duxiu is part of our history. He was General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from its founding in 1921 until 1927, and then broke with Stalin. In 1929, he publicly joined the Left Opposition, then the Fourth International, of which he became a leader. It appears that one of the results of the developments in the situation in China – crisis within the bureaucracy, but also a search for answers to the difficult questions facing the people – is that documents regarding his life as a militant activist are being circulated in the country, including semi-officially.
Half-truths are getting mixed up with omissions, whether intended or not. Genuine elements of research are coming up against false accounts. Some Chinese militant activists who are trying to revive the true past of their people’s long revolutionary struggle have asked us what Chen Duxiu represented for our current.
This article is intended to offer some initial reflections as a contribution to the debate that is being held inside China today.
“A great figure of the revolutionary movement”
Chen Duxiu was born on 8 October 1879. The evolution of his life, as well as of his thoughts and actions, follow the course of the Chinese Revolution itself. Born into a rich Mandarin family in Central China, he became a university professor. As early as 1904, he took part in the national liberation movements in his province. Arrested for his political activity, he was forced into exile in Japan, where he met Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the nationalist party, the Kuomintang. He returned to China at the time of the first Chinese Revolution in 1911, which resulted in the overthrow of the Manchu imperial dynasty and the proclamation of the republic. During this latter period, he participated in the political leadership of the revolutionary army in his home province. The coup d’etat of 1913, which dissolved the recently-formed Parliament, forced him once again into exile in Japan. There he undertook the publication of a revolutionary newspaper.
Returning to China in 1915, he founded a review entitled New Youth together with a group of radical intellectuals. He was therefore part of those “classic” intellectuals who in the early 20th century began to wage a struggle against the old ritual traditions and the old morality of imperial society.
He fought against the teachings of Confucianism, which represented an important element of social conservatism. In the China that was emerging, he sought to replace these with the “building materials of science and democracy”:
“We must break down the old prejudices, the old way of believing in things as they are, before we can begin to hope for social progress”, he wrote in 1915 in New Youth.
At that time, Chen Duxiu was professor at the University of Beijing, where new ideas and new enthusiasm were bubbling and helping to generate a new way of thinking. Chen’s review was read avidly in every faculty and every school in the country. In his book The Tragedy of the Chinese Revolution, Harold Isaacs explains:
“This memorable call heralded the new awakening [of the second Chinese Revolution]. When it was published, wrote one student, “it came to us like a clap of thunder which awakened us in the midst of a restless dream. (…) Orders for more copies were sent post-haste to Peking. I do not know how many times this first issue was reprinted, but I am sure that more than 200,000 copies were sold”.”
A brilliant intellectual, Chen Duxiu was to be the father of the modern Chinese language through his struggle against the old traditions. The written language in use at that time, with its numerous characters and difficult constructions that were very different to the spoken language, requiring years of hard study, appeared to him to be the great obstacle to the cultural development of the masses.
Chen Duxiu therefore attempted to simplify the language, and after several years succeeded in getting a written language that corresponded to the vernacular to become widely used in Northern China (in 1917 he was dean of the School of Letters at the University of Beijing). This was the language called “baihua”, which today is China’s official language.
He then pursued his struggle to awaken national consciousness, through his participation in the creation of the May Fourth Movement. This movement got its name from the demonstrations in May 1919 against the Beijing government, which had once again placed Chinese interests into the hands of Japan. His newspaper summarised the movement’s aims in a provocative “declaration of faith”:
“Our ideal society is honest, progressive, positive, free, equalitarian, creative, beautiful, good, peaceful, co-operative, toilsome, but happy for the many. We look for the world that is false, conservative, negative, restricted, inequitable, hide-bound, ugly, evil, war-torn, cruel, indolent, miserable for the many and felicitous for the few, to crumble until it disappears from sight.”
Under the influence of the victorious proletarian revolution in Russia, one wing of the May Fourth Movement moved towards communism and at that time turned to the labour movement which was developing rapidly at the trade union level. Chen Duxiu was one of its principal figures. For his part, Sun Yat-sen hoped to benefit from supporting the foreign powers that were opposing Japanese interests in order to defend China’s independence.
Continuing his evolution, Chen Duxiu was to be one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, and its first General Secretary until 1927.
It is therefore not surprising to say that Chen Duxiu was one of the defining figures of the Chinese Revolution and China’s history. However, his name almost completely disappeared from all official documents and histories in China. And when his name was mentioned, it was to slander him and sully his reputation.
How is this possible? How could such a falsification of Chinese and world history be possible? Why was it necessary to try to erase from human memory one of the men who dominated the early part of the 20th century through his role in the nascent national movement, and then the takeoff of communism in China?
In order to understand this, we must go back to the history of the second Chinese Revolution.
In fact, every one of the big questions of the world revolution were to be posed during that second Chinese Revolution of 1927. As a result, one’s attitude to it would form a line of demarcation between the Left Opposition, which guaranteed the continuity of Lenin’s struggle, and the nascent bureaucracy in the USSR.
So much so that, when in 1929 Leon Trotsky was defining the points of agreement required for joining the Left Opposition, one of the three criteria selected was the attitude towards the Chinese Revolution, the other two being the assessment of the situation in the Russian Communist Party and the question of the Anglo-Russian Joint Trade Union Committee. Now, as we shall see, Chen Duxiu was to be a major player – and an issue himself – in the struggle between Stalinism and the Left Opposition.
The dawn of the nation
The first Chinese Revolution, in 1911, had been the first awakening of the Chinese nation in its quest to rid itself of the yoke of foreign domination.
Since 1840 – that is, since the Opium War – a defeated China had fallen prey to foreign imperialism. Chinese sovereignty had been regularly and systematically flouted by what are referred to as the “unequal treaties”. Following 1840, in 1858, then 1860, 1885 and 1898, the imperialist powers had regularly imposed new treaties on China by force of arms, which every time had meant considerable new debt for the country, an increasingly heavy tribute payable to the foreign powers, and the complete disappearance of customs duties.
China in fact became a free zone for foreign capitalists, with the creation of 50 ports that were completely in the hands of various foreign powers – France, Great Britain, Germany and Russia – which shared China out between themselves into zones of influence. One can say that by 1898, the empire had been completely dismantled, that China had been dismembered and that it was controlled by various imperialisms.
At the end of the First World War, an international conference once again organised the sharing out of China into zones of influence. The corollary of this domination was the intense exploitation of the Chinese people in the foreign concession territories, where Chinese laws did not apply, but more generally throughout the country, where the warlords were obliged to exercise a fierce dictatorship and a frenzied exploitation of the workers and peasants in order to pay the tribute required by the foreign imperialisms. This situation contained its share of everyday humiliations, symbolised by the famous sign – “No dogs or Chinese” – which was displayed in all public parks and streets of the Shanghai “concession”.
The struggle against this domination lay at the heart of the 1911 Revolution. The military dictatorship which interrupted it did not manage to extinguish this aspiration. The mobilisations of 1919 placed a second revolution on the agenda.
In May 1919, the announcement that at Versailles the Allies had shared out amongst themselves the former German colonial concessions in China provoked a profound national reaction.
“The shining phrases of [US President] Woodrow Wilson, his promises of self-determination and social justice for all peoples had bred the hope that in the general readjustment China too would come into her own. When at Versailles these illusions were cynically spiked by the imperialist horse-traders, the new youth rose in fury against the treachery of the corrupt Japanophile Peking Government. On May 4, 1919, there were huge student demonstrations in Peking. The homes of traitorous Ministers were attacked and wrecked. The movement spread across the country. In it a new note sounded. Workers in factories struck in support of the student demands.”
This wave of workers’ strikes developed. Using this movement as a foundation, the Chinese Communist Party was set up in July 1921, in Shanghai. Its founding conference brought together 12 delegates. In fact this was a group of intellectuals led by Chen Duxiu. That same year, the Kuomintang took control of the government of Canton, in the south of the country, and engaged in the struggle to rebuild a united China. As its armies moved northward and drove out the warlords, the peasants seized the lands of the big landowners and the workers went on strike.
The CCP’s entry into the Kuomintang
The Kuomintang’s activity then put on the agenda the questions of the unity and sovereignty of the Chinese nation. During the same period, workers and peasants – who formed the spearhead of the anti-imperialist mobilisation – put forward their own social demands. The trade unions grew stronger, the number of strikes grew bigger, peasant associations were set up, and the young Chinese Communist Party saw its influence and membership grow significantly (in May 1925, its membership reached 20,000).
At this stage, the Chinese question was not being raised in either the Russian Communist Party or the Communist International (CI). But the intensification of the class struggle in China brought its elements together. Did the anti-imperialist united front needed with the Kuomintang while it fought against imperialism justify the political subordination of the Communist Party to the bourgeois nationalist leadership? On the contrary, was not the CCP’s political independence indispensable for opening up a solution for the labour and peasant masses, who alone were capable of guaranteeing China’s unity and sovereignty, and for whom the struggle for those national and democratic objectives was inseparable from their social demands?
In fact, it was precisely when the developments in the class struggle in China placed the focus on the role of the working class – and therefore on the need for the Communist Party’s political independence – that the Stalinist leadership of the CI began to impose on it an increasingly strict subordination to the national bourgeoisie, in contradiction with all the theoretical teachings of Marxism and the practical lessons of the 1917 Revolution in Russia.
As part of a quick summary of those tumultuous years, one can point to various significant events.
In June 1922, the Second Congress of the CCP proposed an anti-imperialist united front to the Kuomintang.
In August that year, Maring, the CI’s representative, proposed to the CCP leaders that they join the nationalist organisation individually and encourage their members to do so. At that stage, the majority of the CCP’s Central Committee refused.
The Political Bureau of the Russian CP declared itself in favour of the Chinese Communists joining the Kuomintang, the only vote against being Trotsky’s. But he did not make this question his key issue.
In June 1923, the Third Congress of the CCP carried out the orientation decided in Moscow and organised the Communists’ joining the Kuomintang individually.
However, two months later, the CCP’s Central Committee stated that the labour movement should not melt into the Kuomintang. This position was not discussed at the international level. Trotsky himself had not yet engaged in battle publicly, as at that point he found himself isolated inside the Opposition.
In October 1925, Chen Duxiu proposed to the Chinese Central Committee that the Communists should leave the Kuomintang in order to prepare the party for the looming struggle against the counter-revolution. Borodin, the then representative of the CI, opposed this.
In an attempt to justify his policy of subordinating the CCP and the labour movement to the Kuomintang, Stalin invented the “bloc of four classes” theory. The Kuomintang was then presented as the “representative of the four classes” (workers, peasants, intellectuals, and the “national bourgeoisie”).
In March 1926, the Kuomintang was admitted to the CI as a “sympathising party”. Chang Kai-shek was declared an “honorary member” of the CI’s Executive Committee. Trotsky voted against this decision in the Political Bureau of the Soviet CP. On 20 March, that same Chang Kai-shek declared martial law, disarmed the strike pickets and had several Communists arrested. The workers’ strike in Canton was brutally suppressed.
The CCP’s Central Committee proposed the setting-up of a faction inside the Kuomintang. The Stalinist leadership of the CI opposed this. Throughout the world, it organised the silence over the repression that was being organised in March 1926 against the strike in Canton.
From that point on, the political fight between the Opposition and the Stalinist leadership was to be conducted out in the open. It became a major issue in the battle throughout the Communist International.
At its centre lay the question of the relationship between the struggle for national liberation and the proletarian revolution, and hence of the relationship that the CCP should maintain with the bourgeois nationalist forces.
The question appeared here with all its practical consequences in the very course of a broad revolutionary process, but it was nothing new. It had been the subject of polemics within Russian Social-Democracy around the question of the “permanent revolution”, from 1903 to 1917. The October Revolution answered it in practice and settled many differences that existed previously.
At the Second Congress of the Communist International, held in July-August 1920, Lenin presented the Report of the Commission on the National and the Colonial Questions, explaining:
“I should like especially to emphasise the question of the bourgeois-democratic movement in backward countries. This is a question that has given rise to certain differences. We have discussed whether it would be right or wrong, in principle and in theory, to state that the Communist International and the Communist parties must support the bourgeois-democratic movement in backward countries. (…) There has been a certain rapprochement between the bourgeoisie of the exploiting countries and that of the colonies, so that very often – perhaps even in most cases – the bourgeoisie of the oppressed countries, while it does support the national movement, is in full accord with the imperialist bourgeoisie, i.e., joins forces with it against all revolutionary movements and revolutionary classes.”
The Theses on the National and Colonial Questions adopted by the Second Congress under Lenin’s guidance drew a practical conclusion from this: “The Communist International has the duty to support the revolutionary movement in the colonies only for the purpose of gathering the components of the future proletarian parties – communist in fact and not just in name – in all the backward countries and training them to be conscious of their special tasks, the special tasks, that is to say, of fighting against the bourgeois-democratic tendencies within their own nation. The Communist International should accompany the revolutionary movement in the colonies and the backward countries for part of the way, should even make an alliance with it; it may not, however, fuse with it, but must unconditionally maintain the independent character of the proletarian movement, be it only in embryo.”
Defending the nation is the responsibility of the proletariat
Here we have the lessons of the Russian Revolution in a nutshell. In the imperialist epoch, in which the bourgeoisie is no longer able to guarantee the bourgeois-democratic tasks – beginning with constituting the nation, national sovereignty – that task is the responsibility of the proletariat. In June 1923, sharing this idea, the young CCP had stated, in the Manifesto of its Third Congress:
“The Chinese people are doubly oppressed, both by foreign powers and by warlords, and the nation’s existence as well as the freedom of its people are in an extremely precarious state. Not only the workers, peasants, and students, but also the peaceful and moderate merchants feel oppressed. (…)
There is no salvation unless the people muster up their own strength in a national movement for self-determination. All this demonstrates that the national revolutionary movement led by our party with the slogans “down with the warlords” and “down with imperialism” is on the right path.
The Kuomintang (KMT) should be the central force of the national revolution and should assume its leadership. Unfortunately, however, the KMT often suffers from two erroneous notions. First, it relies on foreign powers for help in the Chinese national revolution. Such requests for help from the enemy not only cause it to lose the leadership of the national revolution, but also make the people depend on foreign power, thus destroying their confidence and spirit of national independence. (…)
Considering economic and political conditions at home and abroad, and the sufferings and needs of those classes of Chinese society (workers, peasants, industrialists, and merchants) which urgently need a national revolution, the CCP never forgets for one moment to support the interests of the workers and peasants. It is our special task to conduct propaganda and organisational work among the workers and peasants. Still more central is our task to lead the workers and peasants into joining the national revolution. Our mission is to liberate the oppressed Chinese nation by a national revolution, and to advance to the world revolution, liberating the oppressed peoples and oppressed classes of the whole world.”
By opposing this quest for independence by the CCP, the position of the Stalinist leadership would therefore result in the CCP becoming paralysed.
We saw previously how the different stages of entry into the Kuomintang occurred. In 1926-7, in the crucial hours of the Revolution, everything started to happen quickly. In May 1926, the Communists were removed from any position of responsibility within the Kuomintang. At the request of the CI representative, the CCP agreed without even discussing it.
In July 1926, while Chang Kai-shek was declaring martial law and banning strikes, the Executive Committee of the CI asked the Chinese Communists (by telegram on 26 October) to rein in the peasant movement.
On 29 November, Stalin used a speech to the Seventh Plenum of the CI to emphasise the revolutionary character of Chang Kai-shek’s army and to call for the strengthening of the “block of four classes” under his leadership.
In fact, what was at stake was the complete subordination of the CCP in terms of policy and organisation, leaving it with no semblance of independence in relation to the Kuomintang leadership.
By submitting to the demands of Chang Kai-shek, who enjoyed the support of the Stalinist leadership of the CI, the CCP officially gave up the right to criticise “Sun Yat-senism” (Sun Yat-sen’s doctrine, which served as the Kuomintang’s ideological basis). It gave up the right to occupy positions of military leadership and provided the Kuomintang authorities with a list of its members. It was forbidden to organise any factions or even tendencies.
While Chang Kai-shek moved forward in his anti-worker offensive, declaring martial law and defining strikes as acts of sabotage, the Opposition now began the fight in the USSR against the policy of a “bloc” with the Kuomintang.
It put out a number of documents which raised the alarm. And it was not alone in doing so. On 17 March 1927, 3 members of the mission sent to China by the CI sent a letter to the Russian delegation to the Executive Committee of the CI. This report was swept under the carpet in Moscow – and with good reason: since it had been written by representatives chosen and sent to China by the Stalinist leadership itself, it was all the more incriminating. Indeed, the letter said:
“There is a group within the party leadership which is resolutely pushing the party to the right along the path of liquidationism, and the CI’s representative is supporting this group and its political line. The crisis that has erupted in the party will deepen even more and even further because of this; and, if the Executive Committee of the CI does not intervene immediately, it may be fraught with consequences, both for the party and the Chinese Revolution (…). The party has never turned to these layers of the population, has never done any work among them and never tried to link up with them. It has contented itself with high-level talks with representatives of the middle and petty commercial bourgeoisie, representatives who are closely linked to the big bourgeoisie (…). It would, however, be mistaken to draw the conclusion from this letter that our party is contaminated by opportunism. Quite the contrary, the mass of the party, as well as many grassroots organisations are more than healthy (…). The responsibility for all this also falls on the right wing of the leadership and on the representative of the Executive Committee of the CI. On past tactical questions, it is impossible to separate him from the Central Committee – quite the opposite: every time the party began to hesitate and look for new paths, he would push it backwards, back into the swamp of petty schemes and political juggling that have absolutely nothing in common with revolutionary tactics.”
On 3 April 1927, Leon Trotsky wrote the following in “Class Relations in the Chinese Revolution”:
“The belated bourgeois-national revolution is unfolding in China in conditions of the imperialist decay of capitalism. (…) China’s further development must be taken in an international perspective. Despite the backwardness of the Chinese economy, and in part precisely due to this backwardness, the Chinese revolution is wholly capable of bringing to political power an alliance of workers and peasants, under the leadership of the proletariat. This regime will be China’s political link with the world revolution. (…) To pursue the policy of a dependent Communist Party supplying workers to the Kuomintang is to prepare the conditions for the most successful and triumphant establishment of a fascist dictatorship in China (…). Hereafter, to drive workers and peasants into the political camp of the bourgeoisie and to keep the Communist Party as a hostage within the ranks of the Kuomintang is objectively tantamount to conducting a policy of betrayal. (…) It is necessary to approve as unconditionally correct the resolution of the June plenum of the CC of the Chinese CP, which demands that the party withdraw from the Kuomintang and conclude a bloc with that organisation through its left wing.”
On 5 April, Stalin delivered a speech to the workers of the Moscow party, denouncing those who “arrive with very revolutionary slogans: “Break with the Kuomintang Right! Drive out the Right!” (…). This is a false assessment of the international situation, of the Chinese Revolution and the rhythm of its development. The Kuomintang is a bloc, a sort of revolutionary parliament, with the Right, the Left, and the Communists. Why make a coup d’état? Why drive away the Right when we have the majority and when the Right listens to us? (…)
When the Right is no longer useful to us, we will drive it away. At present we need the Right. It has capable people, who still direct the army and lead it against the imperialists. Chiang Kai-shek has perhaps no sympathy for the revolution, but he is leading the army and cannot do otherwise than lead it against the imperialists.”
On the very day when Stalin delivered this speech, Chang Kai-shek launched his offensive. He had 40 or so Communist leaders arrested, all of whom would later be strangled to death. Seven days later, on 12 April, he launched his attack on the workers of Canton and the trade union labour organisations, using shock-troops and members of the gangster world. It was a total massacre. Thousands of Communists were executed within a few days. It was the defeat of the second Chinese Revolution.
Trotsky and the Left Opposition began a fight in the Congress of the Communist International for the balance-sheet of the Canton tragedy to be drawn.
Stalin opposed this: his orientation was the right one, it could not be questioned. He sought to put the blame for the disaster on the underlings, on those very people who several times had tried to free themselves from the control of that criminal policy. He accused the CCP leadership, and Chen Duxiu by name, of having badly carried out the orders of the genius leader. The offensive to discredit him was undertaken with all the means at the bureaucracy’s disposal. At first, Chen Duxiu and his comrades agreed to carry the blame.
“They were all the more helpless due to the fact that, unlike Stalin’s Chinese supporters, Peng Shuzhi and Chen Duxiu were completely unaware of the ferocious struggles being played out in Moscow, they did not know that “the Chinese question” had become one of the major issues there in the new fight between Trotsky and Stalin; despite everything, it did not take them long to realise this. They did not admit defeat. They did not agree to confess to errors that they had not committed in any way. They turned on their accusers, then against the new, stupidly putschist, line which the new CCP leadership were endeavouring to carry out, following Moscow’s orders, which had the sole effect of speeding up the process of the defeat of the revolution. They freed themselves of the rather religious-style links that still connected them to the Comintern. They recovered full use of their critical faculties. And they both demonstrated this by turning down the invitation made to them by the Comintern to go to Moscow to follow the proceedings of their party’s Sixth Congress. But they were shaken and rather demoralised, and they found it hard to clearly formulate everything that they thought about what had happened to them since 1920.
It was also with immense relief that they discovered, during the summer of 1929, the key texts recently produced by Trotsky on the “Chinese question”, which were brought to them by young Chinese Communists returning from Moscow who whilst there had opted for the Left Opposition. In those texts, they found what they had been thinking expressed much better than they themselves could. They discovered in them that in one sense, without even knowing it, they had been tending towards Trotskyism for almost 2 years.”
So it was in late 1929 that Chen Duxiu and Peng Shuzhi received the documents of the Russian Opposition translated into Chinese. These were a real revelation to them, allowing them to understand the course of events of the Chinese Revolution, the policy of Stalin and the CI leadership, and why the bureaucracy had shifted the blame for their own mistakes onto the young CCP and its leadership.
Chen Duxiu recognised himself in those documents, made this known and passed over to the Opposition. He asked for a discussion to be opened within the party. This was refused, and he was expelled in August 1929.
In a “Open Letter to all Comrades of the Chinese Communist Party” (10 December 1929), he sought to draw a balance-sheet in which he did not hesitate to address the question of his own responsibility: “Whenever a man is self-satisfied, he prevents himself from making progress”, and above all, he explained, “I am absolutely unwilling to ignore the experiences of the Chinese revolution obtained at the highest price paid by proletarians in the past.”
After recalling that “since 1920 (the ninth year of the republic) I have worked with the comrades, in founding the party, in sincerely carrying out the opportunist policy of the International's leaders (…), bringing the Chinese revolution to a shameful and sad defeat”, he emphasised the need to study the deep-rooted causes of the defeat:
“I decisively recognize that the objective conditions were second in importance as the cause of the failure of the last Chinese revolution. The main cause was the error of opportunism, the error of our policy in dealing with the bourgeois Kuomintang. All the responsible comrades of the Central Committee at that time, especially myself, should openly and courageously recognise that this policy was undoubtedly wrong. But it is not enough merely to recognise the error. We must sincerely and thoroughly acknowledge that the past error was the internal content of the policy of opportunism, examine the causes and results of that policy, and reveal them clearly.”
The letter demonstrates a high degree of intellectual rigour, but it also illustrates and explains the way in which the nascent bureaucracy in Russia could gradually take control of the world’s Communist Parties and turn them into docile instruments for its international policy. In it, Chen Duxiu explains how it was possible to impose Stalin’s policy on the young CCP. The representatives of the Communist International took advantage of the immense prestige of the October Revolution in order to impose their points of view. The bureaucracy was in the process of betraying them, but neither the militant activists nor their leaders realised this.
The account which follows does not apply only to China. It deals with the methods used by the nascent bureaucracy to colonise the Communist International, placing it at its service before finally destroying it. It deals with the international offensive to bring the young Communist Parties in step, to select docile leaderships. Taking advantage of both the usurped prestige of the Russian Revolution and coercive methods, Stalinism’s international apparatus was being set up:
“Soon after the adjournment of our [Second] party congress [in 1922], the Communist International sent its delegate Maring to China. He invited all the members of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party to hold a meeting at the West Lake in Hangchow, in Chekiang province, at which he suggested to the Chinese party that it join the Kuomintang organisation. He strongly contended that the Kuomintang was not a party of the bourgeoisie but the joint party of various classes and that the proletarian party should join it in order to improve this party and advance the revolution.
At that time, the five members of the Central Committee of the CCP (…) unanimously opposed the proposal. The chief reason was: To join the Kuomintang was to confuse the class organisations and curb our independent policy. Finally, the delegate of the Third International asked if the Chinese party would obey the decision of the International.
Thereupon, for the sake of respecting international discipline, the Central Committee of the CCP could not but accept the proposal of the Communist International and agree to join the Kuomintang. (…) Chiang Kai-shek's coup d'etat on March 20, 1926, was made to carry out Tai Chi-t'ao's principles. Having arrested the communists in large numbers, disarmed the Canton-Hong Kong Strike Committee's guards for the visiting Soviet group (most of whom were members of the Central Committee of the AUCP) and for the Soviet advisers, the Central Committee of the Kuomintang decided that all communist elements should be removed from the supreme party headquarters of the KMT, that criticism of Sun-Yat-senism by communists be prohibited, and that a list of the names of the members of the Communist Party and of the [Youth] League who had joined the KMT should be handed over to the latter. All these conditions were accepted.
At the same time we resolved to prepare our independent military forces in order to be equal to the forces of Chiang Kai-shek. Comrade P'eng Shu-chih was sent to Canton as representative of the Central Committee of the Chinese party to consult the international delegate about our plan. But the latter did not agree with us, and tried his best to continually strengthen Chiang Kai-shek. He insistently advocated that we use all our strength to support the military dictatorship of Chiang Kai-shek, to build up the Canton government, and to carry on the Northern Expedition. We demanded that he take 5,000 rifles out of those given to Chiang Kai-shek and Li Chi-shen, so that we might arm the peasants of Kwangtung [Guandong] province. He refused, saying: “The armed peasants cannot fight against the forces of Ch'en Chiung-ming nor take part in the Northern Expedition; but they can incur the suspicion of the Kuomintang and make the peasants oppose it.”
This was the most critical period. Concretely speaking, it was the period when the bourgeois KMT openly compelled the proletariat to follow its guidance and direction, when we formally called on the proletariat to surrender to the bourgeoisie, to follow it, and be willing to be subordinates of the bourgeoisie. (The international delegates said openly: “The present period is a period in which the communists should do the coolie service for the Kuomintang.”) By this time the party was already not the party of the proletariat, having become completely the extreme left wing of the bourgeoisie, and beginning to fall into the deep pit of opportunism.”
But in 1929, Chen Duxiu, Peng Shenzhi and dozens of CCP cadres refused to carry on following orders.
Trotsky sensed the importance for China of Chen Duxiu’s rallying, but also for the whole International, all the more since the Chinese Left Opposition already existed. Its history had begun in Moscow in 1927.
The birth of the Chinese Opposition
This was the year when Chinese Communist students arrived in large numbers in the USSR for revolutionary training. The irony of history meant that this decision had been taken during the Fourth Congress of the CI on the basis of a proposal by Chen Duxiu himself, then the faithful executor of Stalin’s policy.
Although discussion and resistance within the CCP itself was sizeable in China due to the policy of subordination to the Kuomintang as directed by Stalin, this was the first time that the Russian Left Opposition was in a position to make direct contact with Chinese militant activists.
Three of the schools and universities in Moscow were specially charged with receiving the Chinese students. These were the University of the Peoples of the East, the Sun Yat-sen University, and the Lenin School. Moreover, courses restricted to a few dozen students from China were given in various military schools in Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev.
The director of the University of the Peoples of the East was Boris Choumiatsky, an enthusiastic supporter of Stalin, while the other was directed by Karl Radek and Adolf Joffe, two leaders of the Opposition.
The Central Committee of the CCP sent to Moscow some 600 to 800 students, most of whom entered the Sun Yat-sen University, where the Trotskyist Opposition therefore held solid positions. This was in 1927, so the students were arriving in Moscow for the 10th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.
The Russian Opposition decided to participate in the demonstrations that had been organised to commemorate the October 1917 Revolution under its own banners, calling for the “struggle for Bolshevism against the bureaucrat and the kulak”. This demonstration, which was independent from the party apparatus, was violently suppressed. Revolutionary leaders who had led the Revolution of October 1917 to victory were clubbed and arrested (this would be one of the last public demonstrations by the Opposition in Russia). That day, only two groups of demonstrators succeeded in unfurling their banner and chanting their slogans in front of the official platform; among them were the Chinese students.
They were subjected to a torrent of punishments. Some of them retracted. Others were transferred, others still were sent back to China. This returning group were the first organisers of an opposition faction named “Our Word”. They organised the distribution in Chinese of the first documents of the Russian Opposition.
But at the very moment when this first wave of Chinese students was expelled from the Soviet Union, others arrived from Wuhan. They had left China after the terrible defeat. They were trying to understand what was happening. Among them was Wang Wenyuan. He explains the course of his development (and not only his) in his memoirs:
“The three main issues in dispute were the Anglo-Russian Trade Union Committee, Socialist construction in the Soviet Union, and the strategy and tactics employed in the Chinese Revolution. Because I was not clear about the reasoning behind the two positions, I was not prepared to make a judgement (...). Naturally the Party Committee disapproved of our sceptical neutrality.”
But as far as those who had just lived through the bloody consequences of the defeat of the Revolution were concerned, the fundamental questions raised in the course itself of the Revolution and its defeat could not be suppressed.
“Should we have entered the Kuomintang? Should we have built and extended the organisation of the Kuomintang? Had Chiang Kai-shek been a reliable ally of the proletariat in the Chinese Revolution? Were the Canton-Hong Kong strike committees a kind of soviet? Had we been right to support another Kuomintang leader, Wang Ching-wei, in order to create “a new revolutionary centre” after Chiang Kai-shek’s betrayal? Had the tactic of “a bloc of four classes” stood the test of events in China?
From that time on, I was no longer a naive and confused participant in the struggle. I had opinions of my own, and began to act with more prudence than before (…) The persecution directed against the Opposition was now stepped up considerably. It no longer remained on the purely “theoretical” level. Oppositionists were now dealt with by administrative means, harassed by the police and the GPU, driven out of the party en masse, sacked from their jobs and denied civil rights. (...) Although nothing of this sort happened among the Chinese students at KUTV (The University of the Peoples of the East), a mood of anxiety and uneasiness grew. Relations between fellow students became more and more strained. Everywhere there were spying eyes, and, as newcomers, they were singled out for special attention. (…). We were upset by the arbitrary and bureaucratic way in which the Stalinists conducted the inner-party struggle, and the suffocating atmosphere which this created – the gulf between what we thought and what we were allowed to say, between our sympathies and the demands of discipline, grew wider and wider – all 600 of us had just left behind a revolution, and we were restless and full of energy. For young rebels like us, a life of peace and quiet was worse than death. (…)
The first document of the Opposition which I read was Zinoviev’s Theses on the Chinese Revolution. A little later, I read Trotsky’s The Chinese Revolution and the Theses of Comrade Stalin, and after that The Platform of the United Opposition of the CPSU. They had an enormous impact on me, because of their unassailable logic and also their superb style. They were a real contrast to the lifeless and insipid documents of the Central Committee. The arguments and warnings of the Opposition, especially those concerned with the Chinese Revolution, were so obviously true and had so often been confirmed in practice, that I could not help nodding vigorously in agreement as I pored eagerly over them. I was also deeply moved by Zinoviev’s writings (...). I now realised that on all fundamental questions the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party had been acting on orders from Stalin’s faction; that the ill-conceived policies which had led to the defeat of the Chinese Revolution were very far from being Chen Duxiu’s mistakes; and that these mistakes had been warned against in advance and could have been avoided.”
At the end of summer 1928, the Chinese Communist students turned en masse towards the Opposition. By this time, nine-tenths of the students who had earlier been in the University of the Peoples of the East had been won to the Opposition. They began to really organise.
Wang recounts: “One Sunday in late September or early October, a dozen or so of us travelled out of Moscow by tram in groups of two or three to have a picnic. We found somewhere quiet, and there we ate, laughed and sang. As soon as there were no Russian holiday-makers within earshot, we got down to more serious business. We discussed and finally settled the problem of how to organise so many Trotskyists. Three of us – Fan Chin-piao, An Fu and myself – were chosen from this conference of activists to form a leadership committee.” Two workers who took part in this meeting were to be imprisoned and to disappear in the USSR.
The establishing of the leading committee was a decisive step in the formation of the Chinese Opposition in Moscow. From this time onward, its influence continued to grow among the Chinese students.
The Russian Opposition was being fiercely repressed, but the Chinese Oppositionists were not alarmed. Among the militants who were arrested, no one betrayed the links between the Russian and the Chinese Oppositionists or the activities of the Chinese Oppositionists.
It was indeed difficult for the Stalinist bureaucrats to maintain control over this student milieu made up of militant activists who could see concretely and judge for themselves the consequences of the policy promoted by Stalin in China. Furthermore, the support of those militant activists for the Opposition’s political line, besides being based on that practical experience, was nourished by in-depth political debates that dealt with all of the political and theoretical questions of the Chinese Revolution.
Contacts between the Chinese Opposition and the leaders of the CCP were to take various forms. In fact, at the time when the wave of repression organised by the Kuomintang in China was at its height, the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Moscow in June and July 1928. It could not deny that the revolution had been defeated in China, but it needed an official explanation that would not bring Stalin’s policy into question. It therefore condemned the “opportunism” of Chen Duxiu and the “too great strength” of the imperialists. The Congress refrained from calling into question the line of the Communist International. But, among the delegates who remained in Moscow for the Sixth Congress of the Communist International were some who were contacted by the Opposition and who were acquainted with its documents.
The progress of the Chinese Opposition continued rapidly during the winter of 1928. Wang estimates that nearly 150 out of the 400 students at the Sun Yat-sen University were members or sympathisers. Groups existed even in the military schools, and in the Lenin School.
The general lines of work to be followed in China, as a faction within the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party, were decided in the course of a secret conference at the beginning of 1929. But the news that Chen Duxiu in China had joined the Opposition led the bureaucracy to take strong measures.
Hundreds of militant activists disappeared into Stalin’s camps
In early Autumn 1929, an armed detachment of the GPU arrived one night at the dormitories of Sun Yat-sen University and took away more than 200 “Trotskyists” to an unknown destination.
The Sun Yat-sen University, considered as a “Trotskyist lair” was closed down. Whether they capitulated or not under the interrogation of the GPU, none of the imprisoned militant activists ever saw their native land again. Only two escaped from Siberia.
Despite the brutality of the repression, the thread was not cut. “Our Word”, the first group that had been set up in 1927, had been expelled from the CCP in 1928. It succeeded in setting up groups in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing. The group’s review was published nationally.
In September 1929, a little before the wave of repression, a second group of Oppositionists managed to get away from Moscow. On their return, they took their place inside the CCP in order to fight from within to put it right.
The return of successive groups was to lead to a certain amount of confusion and division of the Opposition. Indeed, the first group back from Moscow consisted of notorious Oppositionists, who had been expelled from the CCP and who were to act independently of the Communist Party in China, while the second group, which remained secret up to 1930, worked mostly within the CCP, before being expelled after the Russian bureaucracy sent the CCP a list of names of Oppositionists complied on the basis of “confessions”. However, a certain number of militant activists, like Liu Renjing, refused to work inside the CCP, and formed a new group. Thus, in 1929, there existed 3 groups among the students returning from Moscow: Our Word, the October Group and the Militant Group.
These groups were limited in numbers. But the situation was to change when Chen Duxiu joined the Opposition. Of course, everything was not simple. To those who had been Oppositionists from the very beginning, Chen Duxiu appeared as one who bore responsibility for having implemented the CI’s policy at the time when he was the official leader of the party.
They asked themselves: After that defeat, could he become the leader of the Left Opposition?
Trotsky intervened in the debate. For years he had followed the development of the Chinese Revolution and was very familiar with the situation of the Oppositionists. The spectacular evolution towards the International Left Opposition of a leader like Chen Duxiu, on the basis of a political balance-sheet which addressed the crucial questions of the Revolution, had to be considered in its fullest aspects. It had already produced refractions inside the CCP itself, in which Chen Duxiu had set up his own faction.
Trotsky, who had strongly opposed Chen Duxiu and had not gone easy on him in previous years, was not in any way settling personal accounts. He took as his starting-point the interests of the world’s working class. In 1929, he wrote in a letter to Chinese Oppositionists:
“As far as Chen Duxiu’s group is concerned, I am very well aware of the policy which it followed during the years of the Revolution; it was the policy of Stalin, Bukharin and Martynov, that is to say, an essentially Right-Menshevik policy. But comrade Niel Shih, nonetheless, writes that Chen Duxiu, on the basis of his experience of the revolution, has come very much closer to our positions. It goes without saying that we can only rejoice at this. Yet in your letter of information you categorically deny what comrade N tells me. (…) But up to the present, I have not read more than one programmatic declaration by Chen Duxiu and am not in a position to express myself on this question [of breaking with Stalin’s policy].”
Like in everything else, one had to stick to the facts. He then received and studied Chen Duxiu’s declaration of 10 December 1929, the “Open Letter to All the Comrades of the Party”. On 22 August 1930, Trotsky then wrote to the Chinese militant activists:
“I think that this letter is an excellent document. Perfectly clear, correct positions are put forward in reply to every important question (…). Now that we have the support of a revolutionary of the first rank in Chen Duxiu, who has broken with the party and been excluded and who announces that he is henceforth in 100 percent agreement with the International Opposition, how could you ignore him? Is it possible that you already have many members of the Communist Party as experienced as he? In the past he has made many mistakes, but now he is aware of this. To understand one’s past mistakes is profitable for revolutionaries and for cadres. We have young comrades in the Opposition who can and should learn from comrade Chen Duxiu!”
On 15 December 1929, 81 cadres and leaders, founding members of the Chinese CP, made a public statement adding their names in support of the statement of the Left Opposition. That statement came at the time of the most intense struggle between the Left Opposition, which had not yet been crushed in the Soviet Union, and the bureaucracy, and was to have repercussions inside the Communist Parties of the whole world.
1931: The Unification Congress
On 9 May 1931, the fusion congress was held in Shanghai. In a “Report No.1 to the International Secretariat and to Comrade Trotsky”, the Secretariat of the Left Opposition of the Chinese Communist Party stated:
“The Unification Conference of the Chinese opposition was held on the historic day of 1 May in Shanghai. Taking part were 17 delegates with deliberative votes and 4 with consultative votes. In all, they represented 483 members of the 4 groups. The conference adopted our joint platform and a certain number of resolutions that had been previously drafted by the Unification Commission. A National Executive Committee was elected, composed of 9 members. The Secretariat formed within it is composed of 5 comrades. Our organisation has adopted the name “Left Opposition of the Chinese Communist Party”. Our publication is called The Spark. Our platform and our resolutions will be translated into foreign languages as soon as possible.”
The International Left Opposition replied:
“This news will be received with joy by the whole of the International Left Opposition (…). The tragic defeat of the Chinese Revolution caused by the criminal policy of Stalinism does not only mean the physical destruction of tens of thousands of revolutionary fighters and the annihilation of the organisations of the Chinese proletariat. At the same time, this defeat will sow terrible confusion among the ranks of the betrayed and distraught advanced workers. Instead of correcting its own mistakes, the leadership of the Communist International has with cowardice and cynicism attributed them to the weak and young Chinese CP. This fact could only exasperate further those Communist militant activists who are sincerely devoted to the proletarian cause. The dispersion of the revolutionary forces has only got worse; disagreements have increasingly deepened.
The disarray created by the defeat of the Revolution and by the shameful attitude of the Communist International in China has also had repercussions within the ranks of the Left Opposition. The International Left Opposition’s criticism of the errors committed by the CI before and during the Revolution has been recognised as being fair by a large number of the comrades of the Chinese CP: the immediate cause of the defeat was too obvious and the ordeal too hard for there to be disagreements on this subject. But the CI continued to sow confusion even after the crushing of the Revolution. According to the “third period”, from which the unfortunate Chinese Communist Party was not spared, the CI noted a revolutionary upsurge in the country, against all evidence; consequently, it provoked strikes and demonstrations that were doomed to failure; it referred to the detachments of supporters of the rebellious peasantry and their anarchic movement as “Red Army” and “Soviet power”, when their anarchic quality was nothing other than the direct consequence of the betrayed and aborted agrarian revolution. Of course, the CI condemned as “opportunist” any democratic slogan during that period.
The Chinese Opposition had to stand and face all of these problems, which are vitally important for the revolutionary movement.
The discussion was very bitter; it provoked serious disagreements.”
Those problems would be overcome through discussion within the framework of the International. But quite clearly, in those difficult conditions, the experience would leave its mark on the Chinese section of the Left Opposition.
Chen Duxiu was elected leader of the section, and would lead the organisation up to his arrest by the Kuomintang in 1932. It should be noted here that the CCP, in the person of Bo Ku, called on Chang Kai-shek’s government to condemn to death and execute the man who had been the CCP’s first General Secretary. Only the fame of the old revolutionary earned him a public trial, at the end of which he would be sentenced to 13 years in prison. While its main leader was in held in prison in especially harsh conditions, the Chinese section of the Left Opposition – which in 1936 became the section of the Movement for the Fourth International – suffered isolation, repression and immense pressure from Stalinism, leading to a series of crises.
In July 1937, war broke out between China and Japan. The Fourth International immediately took a position. A press statement announced that the Trotskyists around the world stood at the side of China and the Chinese people in its war against Japanese imperialism.
Just after the massive bombardment of the city of Nanking by the Japanese, the Kuomintang government decided to free all political prisoners who had been sentenced to less than 15 years in prison. The Trotskyists were freed; among them was Chen Duxiu, who was released in early September.
His contacts with the organisation which he had founded were at that time atrocious.
The Chinese section had plunged into a serious crisis, resulting from differences over the war and the attitude to be taken regarding the government.
The representatives of the Chinese section based in Shanghai condemned Chen Duxiu’s positions as opportunism. These addressed the attitude to take regarding Chang Kai-shek’s government in its war against Japan. They also included a proposal for an alliance that was made to the CCP leadership. There were therefore real disagreements and grounds for a genuine discussion. But that discussion was to be held under the difficult conditions of illegality. Moreover, those internecine conflicts were sometimes consciously stirred up by agents provocateurs. This is why, in this crisis no less than in the others, Trotsky firmly refused to accept the accusations that were hurled at Chen Duxiu. First of all, he was disturbed that these personal accusations were circulating without any evidence being provided to back them up. He went further when he wrote:
“I understand perfectly that Chen Duxiu remains very prudent as regards our section. He is too well known in the country, and his every step is watched by the authorities. It is certain that there are agents-provocateurs, especially Stalinists, i.e. GPU agents, in the ranks of our Chinese section. Chen could easily be implicated in some infamous frame-up, which would be fatal for him and prejudicial to the Fourth International.”
Trotsky was convinced that Chen Duxiu’s life was in danger, and suggested that everything should be done to try and get him to emigrate, preferably to the USA. A Chinese militant activist was given the responsibility of conveying this proposal to the old revolutionary, who was isolated in Sichuan. After a journey full of difficulties, Trotskyist Chen Qizhang arrived in the first week of November 1938 at the village in Sichuan where his old comrade was living. He spent ten days with him and returned after having spent altogether three months on roads and rivers. His mission was a great success. In fact, Chen Duxiu agreed voluntarily to go abroad, because that seemed to him to be the only way to break out of the isolation to which he was reduced. Also, in a declaration dated 3 November 1938, he stated his personal political position: whilst critical of the leadership of the Chinese organisation, he reaffirmed his attachment to the International.
Trotsky openly rejoiced:
“I am very glad that our old friend remains politically a friend despite some possible divergences, which I cannot now appreciate with the necessary precision. Of course, it is very difficult for me to form a precise opinion about the politics of our comrades, on the degree of their ultra-leftism and therefore on the correctness of the severe criticism which our old friend levels at [the leadership of the Chinese section]. Nonetheless, the essence of this declaration seems to me to be correct. And I hope that, on this basis, permanent collaboration will be possible.”
The Kuomintang government would refuse to let Chen Duxiu leave China. He died in great isolation on 27 May 1942. His name would then be swept under the carpet by the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. As far as they were concerned, it was important to both maintain the dogma of the party leadership’s infallibility and to forbid Chinese militant activists to familiarise themselves with their revolutionary past, to understand the events of the second Chinese Revolution and how they marked the very forms of the 1949 Revolution. But it is significant today that all of these questions are re-emerging.
A debate is opening in China
In 2002, “Volume 1” of a new edition of the History of the Chinese Communist Party published by the official press includes this passage:
“Some of Trotsky’s analyses on the class nature of the two cliques of Chang Kai-shek and Wang Ching Wei after the period of the Great Revolution, his judgement that they betrayed the revolution and his criticism of Stalin’s errors as a guide of the Chinese Revolution were correct or mostly correct (…). Trotsky thought that Stalin was responsible for the defeat of the Great Chinese Revolution.”
According to October Review:
“At the same time, there has been a wave of positive reassessments of Chen Duxiu, one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party and of the Trotskyist group in China, both at the academic level and for general consumption. In January 2008, the CCP’s publication The History of the Party and the Building of the Party in Shanghai published an article by Shi Zhongquan, former Deputy Director of the CCP’s Central Institute of Party History, based on an academic paper delivered by Shi to an academic symposium in December 2007 in Wuhan on the history of the CCP. This explained: “It is not correct to put all responsibility for the party’s errors in the last period of the Great Revolution on Chen Duxiu alone. The main source of its errors was the Comintern and the party itself. The contribution made by Chen Duxiu during his life largely counterbalance his faults.” Shi listed the achievements in Chen’s contribution, including his pioneering work in launching the New Culture movement in the early 20th century, then in founding the Chinese Communist Party, and his leading role in the CCP through its first 5 Central Committees, which allowed the CCP to grow from a party with 50 members to over 60,000 members. Shi points out that Chen contributed greatly to the Marxist analysis of the Chinese Revolution and was imprisoned by the warlords and the Nationalist Party, and that throughout his life he waged a heroic struggle against the forces of reaction. Shi considers that one of the two main errors committed by Chen Duxiu was to adopt a right-wing line during the last stage of the Great Revolution, but that this was an internal party difference over the line and not a revolutionary versus counter-revolutionary question. As for the second error, this was to become involved in the defeatist Trotskyist faction in relation to the struggle inside the Soviet party; Chen had not put the Chinese people or the Chinese nation in danger, and was not a spy. Shi had concluded that the role played by Chen was 70 percent positive and 30 percent negative. Shi had pointed out as a last remark that it was time to make a global re-assessment of Chen’s contribution. 2009 will be the 130th anniversary of Chen Duxiu’s birth, and the party’s historians should prepare the rehabilitation of Chen Duxiu, to reinstate him as a party member and to organise research seminars on him.”
Yes, that debate should be held. We are very far from having presented here all of the questions linked to Chen Duxiu’s positions, to the questions debated in the course of the Chinese Revolution itself by the Left Opposition and the section of the Fourth International. But are we not right to state that Trotskyism in China has deep roots, reaching down to the very heart of the Chinese Revolution and the building of the CCP itself? And vice versa, the whole history of the Fourth International has been marked by the Chinese Revolution.
Side by side with the Chinese Revolution
In 1949, the third Chinese Revolution drove out Chang Kai-shek’s corrupt regime. From a certain point of view, by forcing the CCP to break with Stalin’s policy, the Chinese masses were putting into practice what was contained in the programme of the Left Opposition, namely that the national tasks, the building of the Chinese nation, required breaking with the party of the bourgeoisie and marching forward towards social revolution.
Because it was one part of the world revolution, the Chinese Revolution could only be achieved by breaking with the reactionary policy of the Kremlin bureaucracy.
But the instrument for achieving that revolution was a party which, although it had certainly been led to break with Stalin’s policy, was not the instrument to enable the workers to emancipate themselves. Consequently, although the state that resulted from the 1949 Revolution was based socially on the expropriation of capital, which gave it the character of a workers’ state, it was the starting-point for a bureaucratically deformed workers’ state. It was not based on the democracy of workers’ councils. It is not the aim of this article to study this question in detail. But we must insist: the conditions in which the Chinese Revolution developed did not see the setting-up of workers’ and peasants’ councils that would exercise power democratically. On the contrary, the CCP leadership would oppose the formation of such bodies of democratic power and would fight to empty them of their content when they did appear. The CCP leadership confiscated political power from the working class, using repression to forbid it any expression of an organised political current. Workers’ democracy was denied and flouted. This reality marked all subsequent developments. It brought about the formation of a privileged and uncontrolled layer whose advantages derived from its parasitic existence on the back of the Chinese Revolution.
It is nevertheless true that the Chinese Revolution, putting into question the counter-revolutionary edifice established at Yalta and Potsdam between the bureaucracy and imperialism, indicated to the peoples of the whole world, and more especially of Asia, that it was possible to have done with imperialist domination and to set up a sovereign nation.
The Fourth International committed itself without hesitation to supporting the Chinese Revolution. It did so quite independently of the CCP leadership. The Chinese section of the Fourth International, which at the end of the war had hundreds of members, was subjected to ruthless repression by the C
English to Chinese: United Nations HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL-DRAFT REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW *CHINA
Source text - English GE.09-
11 February 2009
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review
Geneva, 2-13 February 2009
Advance unedited version
DRAFT REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON
THE UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW *
* The final document will be issued under symbol number A/HRC/11/25. The annex to the present report is
circulated as received.
Introduction...................................................................................................... 1 - 4 3
I. SUMMARY OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE REVIEW PROCESS ... 5 - 113 3
A. Presentation by the State under review.......................................... 5 - 25 3
B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review....... 26 - 113 6
II. CONCLUSIONS AND/OR RECOMMENDATIONS.............................. 114 - 118 27
Composition of the delegation......................................................................... 32
1. The Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), established in accordance
with Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007, held its fourth session from 2 to 13
February 2009. The review of China was held at the 11th meeting on 9 February 2009. The
delegation of China was headed by H.E. Mr. LI Baodong, Ambassador and Permanent
Representative of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva. At its meeting held on 11
February 2009, the Working Group adopted the present report on China.
2. On 8 September 2008, the Human Rights Council selected the following group of
rapporteurs (troika) to facilitate the review of China: Canada, India, and Nigeria.
3. In accordance with paragraph 15 of the annex to resolution 5/1, the following documents
were issued for the review of China:
(a) A national report submitted / written presentation made in accordance with
paragraph 15 (a) (A/HRC/WG.6/4/CHN/1);
(b) A compilation prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human
Rights (OHCHR), in accordance with paragraph 15 (b) (A/HRC/WG.6/4/CHN/2);
(c) A summary prepared by OHCHR, in accordance with paragraph 15 (c)
4. A list of questions prepared in advance by Czech Republic, Latvia, Liechtenstein and
Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, and United Kingdom
was transmitted to China through the troika. These questions are available on the extranet of the
I. SUMMARY OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE REVIEW PROCESS
A. Presentation by the State under review
5. At the 10th meeting, on 9 February 2009, H.E. Mr. LI Baodong, Ambassador and
Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva made an introductory
statement. China viewed the UPR exercise with importance. To prepare for China’s national
report a special task force composed of members from nearly 30 national legislative, judiciary
and administrative departments was established. In order that the report was as comprehensive,
objective and authoritative as possible, consultations were held with nearly 20 non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and academic institutions, and broad public input was sought via the
6. In 1949, the People’s Republic of China was founded and the Chinese people won
national independence. A fundamental social and political system for the promotion and
protection of human righs has been established in China. Since 1978 when reforms and openingup
were launched the living standards of the Chinese people moved from poverty to subsistence
and from subsistence to relative prosperity. The number of persons in rural areas living in
poverty has fallen from 250 million to over 14 million, and per capita disposable income of
urban residents has increased 39 times. China was the first country in the world to meet the
poverty reduction target set in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
7. By the end of 2000 nine-year compulsory education had been made virtually universal
throughout the country. Illiteracy had been essentially eliminated among the young and middle
aged. China has met ahead of schedule the targets of “universal primary education” and
“eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education” as set in the MDGs.
8. The average life expectancy of Chinese citizens now stands at 73 years. The maternal
mortality rate is 60 per cent. The average per capita residential floor space for rural and urban
residents increased four-fold in 30 years. Twelve Chinese cities have won the UN-HABITAT
Award. In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Wenchuan, Sichuan Province, in
last May, the Chinese Government provided temporary accommodation within three months to
over 10 million people affected by the earthquakes, and some 130,000 permanent residential
units have been built within six months of the disaster.
9. China has worked consistently to improve its legal system. Since the reform in 1978,
nearly 250 laws relating to the protection of human rights have been enacted. The notion of the
rule of law and of State respect for safeguarding of human rights was codified in the Chinese
Constitution in 1999 and 2004, respectively. China has continued its efforts to promote lawbased
governance and to increase government transparency. A number of laws, such as the
Criminal Procedure, Administrative Review and State Compensation laws, and the Regulations
on Public Access to Government Information, have been promulgated to ensure citizen’s rights
to be informed, to participate and to oversee governmental affairs. From the central to local
governmental levels, a mechanism of public notification and public hearing has been introduced
for all major decisions bearing on public interests and people’s welfare.
10. China has endeavoured to promote democracy, enhance democratic institutions, improve
the system of people's congresses, and reinforce political consultations among the political
parties. A system of grassroots’ self-government has been established, involving rural villagers'
committees and urban neighbourhood committees. A Chinese-style democracy is characterized
by democratic election, democratic consultation and democratic self-government.
11. China sought to guarantee judicial independence and the fair administration of justice
through continued reform and improvements. All death sentence appeal cases were heard in open
court sessions. The authority to review and approve death penalty cases has been restored to the
Supreme People's Court. Increasingly procuratorial organs required audio-video recording of
interrogation of persons suspected of public office abuse-related crimes. The system of people’s
assessors and people’s supervisors has been improved. Supervision over the administration of
justice and over the law enforcement has been improved.
12. China encouraged NGOs to play a full role in promoting and protecting human rights
with over 400,000 NGOs currently registered. They were active in such fields as poverty
alleviation, health, education, environmental protection, and the safeguarding of citizens’ rights,
and have growing influence on China’s political and social life.
13. China pursued a policy of ethnic equality and regional ethnic autonomy. Ethnic
minorities in China benefitted from special preferential policies in the political, economic,
cultural and educational spheres. The Government encouraged dual- and multi-language teaching
in schools of ethnic minorities, and has helped 13 ethnic minorities to create or develop their
written languages. Huge investment has been made to protect the religious practices, cultural
identities and other heritages of ethnic minorities.
14. China was a party to 25 international human rights instruments, and has conducted human
rights dialogue with nearly 20 countries. It maintained good relations of cooperation with the
OHCHR and United Nations special procedures. The delegation welcomed Ms. Pillay to visit
China at a time convenient to both sides. It was also considering inviting another United Nations
Special Rapporteur to visit China in 2009.
15. Since the submission of its national report, China has adopted additional measures to
protect human rights. In October 2008, a decision was made to deepen the rural reforms and
development, such as eliminating extreme poverty in the countryside and doubling 2008 per
capita income of rural residents by 2020, gradually realizing equal treatment between rural
migrant workers and urban residents, and ensuring the exercise of farmers’ democratic rights.
16. At the end of 2008, China had taken 60 more judicial reform measures, such as
strengthening the system of investigation and supervision of crimes of abuse of power by public
officials, and reducing punishment for minor crimes and juvenile delinquencies.
17. To tackle the current global financial crisis, the Government unveiled an economic
stimulus package containing 10 major measures. Under the package, 65 per cent of the projects
aim directly to benefit the life of people, including improving the wellbeing of rural residents,
strengthening medical and health-care services, education and culture and other social services
and programmes, accelerating the post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction, and increasing
18. China was the world’s largest developing country and was fully aware of the difficulties
and challenges it faced in the field of human rights. China had a population of 1.3 billion, and
800 million were farmers. China needed to create 24 million jobs each year. China still ranked
well below 100 in terms of per capita GDP in the world. The poverty-stricken and low-income
population remained vast, and the imbalances in development between urban and rural areas and
among regions still persisted. Medical and health-care services and the social security system still
fell short of people’s needs.
19. The Government was conscientiously implementing the Scientific Outlook on
Development, an approach that placed people first, and sought to ensure comprehensive,
coordinated and sustainable development, in an effort to build a harmonious society with
democracy, the rule of law, equity and justice. The Government would continue to give top
priority to people’s livelihood, human values, people’s rights and interests, and social equity and
20. Currently, some 50 government departments were working on a National Human Rights
Action Plan for 2009-2010, which would soon be made public.
21. The Chinese Government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong and
Macao in 1997 and 1999 respectively and established the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region (HKSAR) and the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) under the principle of
“One Country, Two Systems”.
22. In the HKSAR, human rights and freedoms were guaranteed by the Basic Law, as well as
by, inter alia, the Bill of Rights Ordinance, the Race Discrimination Ordinance, and the
Independent Police Complaints Council Ordinance. The rights of special groups were also
protected through such mechanisms as the Women’s Commission, the Children’s Council
project, the Children’s Rights Forum, and the Ethnic Minorities Forum.
23. In the MSAR, human rights and freedoms were guaranteed by the MSAR Basic Law. To
promote and protect human rights and maintain the rule of law was a cornerstone of the Macau
Government’s policy. The MSAR Government continued to improve social rights, particular
consideration was given to the rights of vulnerable groups, such as the disabled, the elderly, the
children, the women and the persons under custody. The MSAR Government remained
committed to a government more accountable to the citizens, advocated the concept of social
harmony and promoted human rights development.
24. In China’s National Report, the HKSAR and MSAR Governments provided separate
accounts of the situations in the territories of Hong Kong and Macao. The two regions were
represented by their senior officials.
25. The delegation noted that, due to time constraints, the presentation could not cover all
China’s efforts to promote and protect human rights and elaborate on its difficulties and
challenges. The delegation would try its best to address questions, including those unanswered
written questions in a candid and open manner and respond to the recommendations responsibly.
B. Interactive dialogue and responses by the State under review
26. During the interactive dialogue, statements were made by 60 delegations. Fifty-five
delegations were not able to make their statements. * A large number of delegations
congratulated China for its informative and comprehensive national report and its open
presentation. Numerous delegations welcomed China’s commitment to the UPR process and its
constructive and cooperative participation. Statements were made welcoming the broad-based
consultation with stakeholders in the preparation of the national report.
27. Australia welcomed the considerable improvements made by China over the past 30
years, but expressed concern that Chinese officials continue to repress religious activities
considered to be outside the State-controlled religious system. Noting grave concerns about
reports of harassment, arbitrary arrest, punishment and detention of religious and ethnic
minorities, including Tibetans, it recommended that China: (a) strengthen the protection of
ethnic minorities’ religious, civil, socio-economic and political rights. While encouraged by
positive developments in the handling of death-penalty cases, it remained concerned about the
reportedly high number of executions and lack of transparency in such cases and recommended
that China; (b) abolish the death penalty and, as interim steps, reduce the number of crimes for
which the death penalty can be imposed and publish figures on executions. Welcoming the
softening of media regulations for foreign journalists and encouraging China to ensure
restrictions are not imposed on journalists’ access to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and to
rural areas, it recommended (c) that the new regulations be extended to Chinese journalists.
Australia further recommended that China (d) respond positively to outstanding visit requests by
special procedures and issue a standing invitation; (e) ratify the International Covenant on Civil
* Norway, Denmark, Chile, Republic of Korea, Tunisia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mauritius,
Luxembourg, Serbia, Slovakia, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bangladesh, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Syrian Arab Republic, Nigeria, Ukraine, Maldives, Nepal, Djibouti, Kuwait, Chad, Belarus,
Ireland, Burundi, Azerbaijan, Romania, Albania, Afghanistan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lebanon,
Cyprus, Ethiopia, Greece, Montenegro, Liechtenstein, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Rwanda, Uganda, Timor-Leste,
Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Niger, United Republic of Tanzania, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania,
Mongolia, Cote d’Ivoire and Cameroon.
and Political Rights (ICCPR)as quickly as possible and with minimal reservations; (f) establish a
national human rights institution, in accordance with the Paris Principles; and (g) investigate
reports of harassment and detention of human rights defenders, including alleged mistreatment
while in police custody, with a view to ending impunity.
28. Canada welcomed the measures taken to reduce immediate death sentences, reserving
them for “exceptionally grave” crimes and reinstating Supreme People’s Court authority to
review death sentences. Canada expressed deep concern about reports of arbitrary detention of
ethnic minorities members, including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongols as well as religious
believers, including Falun Gong practitioners, without information about their charges, their
location and wellbeing. Canada recommended that China: (a) accelerate legislative and judicial
reforms, particularly on death penalty and administrative detention, to be in compliance with the
ICCPR; (b) reduce the number of crimes carrying the death penalty and (c) regularly publish
detailed statistics on death penalty use; (d) abolish all forms of administrative detention,
including “Re-Education Through Labour”; (e) eliminate abuse of psychiatric committal; (f)
provide those held on State-security charges with all fundamental legal safeguards, including
access to counsel, public trial and sentencing, and eligibility for sentence reduction and parole;
(g) take immediate measures to implement the recommendations of November 2008 of the
Committee against Torture, particularly on the inadmissibility in court of statements made under
torture and the non-refoulement of refugees from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea;
and (h) respond positively to outstanding requests made by several United Nations Special
Procedures, including the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, to visit China, and
(i) facilitate an early visit by the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
29. Singapore noted China’s priority on realizing the people’s right to development has
brought about since 1978 rapid growth averaging 9.8 per cent per annum. It noted that this result
could not have been possible without the empowerment of women. It welcomed the elaboration
of a National Human Rights Action Plan for 2009-2010 that seeks to balance urban and rural
development and to accelerate social development, with an emphasis on people’s welfare and on
promoting social equity and justice. Singapore recommended that China finalize and publish the
national human rights action plan for 2009-2010 at an early date and then swiftly implement it. It
commended China for its efforts at strengthening its human rights legislation. It noted that over
the past three decades the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee have enacted
some 250 laws relating to human rights protection, with the Constitution as its core. Singapore
appreciated China’s active role in supporting the work of the United Nations in the area of
human rights, including hosting in Beijing the 4th World Conference on Women in 1995.
30. The Netherlands noted the Chinese position on the protection of ethnic minority rights,
and looked forward to further explanations on the death penalty and on UNHCR’s role with
regard to refugees from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It welcomed progress made
in human rights. It recommended that China: (a) continue to advance the rule of law and to
deepen the reform of the judicial system; (b) ratify the ICCPR as soon as possible and bring its
legislation into line with its provisions; and (c) extend a standing invitation to all United Nations
special rapporteurs. It said it looked forward to the publication of the Human Rights Action Plan
31. Switzerland recognized the rapid economic development in the past years and the efforts
made by China to improve the living condition of its population. It welcomed the inclusion of an
article on the protection of human rights in the Constitution and the promulgation of a number of
laws that protect human rights and recommended that China (a) amend the criminal procedure
code in order to ensure the right to a lawyer and put in place a law for the protection of
witnesses. It requested more information on the process and timeframe for ratification of the
ICCPR, which China signed in 1998. It further welcomed the systematic revision of the death
penalty by the People’s Supreme Court effective from January 2007, which resulted in a decrease
in executions, and recommended that China (b) publish the statistics of the total number of
executions since the introduction of its revision to allow measurement of the decline in numbers;
(c) install a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its total abolition. While
stressing that the rights and the particularities of minorities should be recognized and protected,
and that their economic development should be supported, Switzerland expressed concern over
the situation of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet, Switzerland recommended that the
Chinese authorities: (d) respect the fundamental rights of these ethnic minorities, notably
freedom of religion and movement.
32. The Philippines said its people have enjoyed friendly relations with the Chinese people,
to which it is bound by strong commercial and cultural ties. It noted China’s tremendous gains in
human rights protection and promotion, considering its challenges as a large developing country
with over 20 per cent of the world’s population. It noted: government measures to eradicate
poverty, increase living standards, health, levels of employment and education, which have lifted
millions out of poverty, enhancing human dignity and enjoyment of human rights; the increased
investments in social security, particularly for rural inhabitants and special groups, and the
responsiveness to victims of natural disasters, including the provision of assistance to over nine
million people in Sichuan province. It recommended that China: (a) continue its endeavour to
build a sound social security system and supporting services commensurate with national
conditions, as well as its level of social and economic development; (b) share best practices with
other developing countries on poverty-reduction programmes and strategies, especially in rural
areas. It asked if the financial crisis had led to rising unemployment in China and how China is
addressing the situation.
33. Algeria regretted politicization of the human rights situation in China during the review.
It noted that the record achievements of China in attaining Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) showed the concept of Scientific Development perspectives is valid. It recommended
that China: (a) pursue the implementation of the concept of Scientific Development perspectives
to ensure comprehensive, coordinated and lasting development and to continue building a
harmonious society marked by democracy, primacy of the law, equity and justice; and (b) share
with interested developing countries its good practices in the implementation of this concept. It
saluted the importance given by China to cooperation and exchange with other countries on
human rights, adding that it considers that human rights situations and efforts deployed must take
into account the level of development, cultural, historical and sociological contexts of each
country. It recommended that China (c) continue to explore development methods and the
implementation of human rights in harmony with its characteristics, its realities and the needs of
Chinese society; (d) in accordance with its imperatives dictated by its national realities, proceed
to legislative, judicial and administrative reform as well as create conditions permitting the
ratification, as soon as possible, of the ICCPR; and (e) proceed as soon as possible with the
publication and implementation of its National Human Rights Action Plan for 2009-2010.
34. The Russian Federation commended China’s role in the work of the Human Rights
Council and its efforts to strengthen international interaction in the area of human rights. It noted
that the emphasis placed in China’s national report on ensuring the realization of a basket of
socio-economic rights, including questions of increasing the level of social protection, education
and health, was fair. This policy on the part of the Government of the most heavily populated
country of the world is particularly important in light of the global financial crisis. China is
investing enormous resources aiming to develop Tibet province and in this regard the Russian
Federation recommended it continue to invest financial and material resources with a view to
supporting economic and social developments in the country as a whole and in the Tibet
Autonomous Region in particular. It welcomed the fact that China has managed to develop a
mutually acceptable formula for interaction between the authorities and civil society and noted
the progress made in the work of the judiciary, law enforcement and penitentiary systems, and on
questions related to conditions of certain groups of society.
35. Bhutan noted that China is a developing country with a vast territory and 21 per cent of
the world’s population. It appreciated China’s pursuit of an approach that places people first and
seeks to ensure comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development to build a harmonious
society characterized by democracy, rule of law, equity and justice, as encapsulated in its policy
of a Scientific Outlook on Development. It asked China to share some of the main lessons
learned and best practices emerging from its experience in carefully formulating national
economic and social development plans, and its astounding economic success, which have
propelled living standards from poverty to subsistence and from subsistence to relative
prosperity, including as the first country in the world in meeting the MDG on poverty reduction.
It noted, however, that the reach and effects of such successes have been uneven between urban
and rural areas and among different regions of the country. Bhutan recommended that China
strengthen its efforts in poverty alleviation in order to continue reducing the number of persons
living in poverty. It also recommended particular focus on bridging the gap in economic and
social development between rural and urban areas and among regions. Bhutan noted increasing
investment in the development of minority areas, including through increased support for basic
education, promotion of traditional medicine and cultures and enhancement of self-development
capacity as measures identified by the Government as future objectives.
36. Noting that China has accomplished important leaps along the path of economic
development, moving in 30 years from being a poor country into becoming the third biggest
economy in the world, Egypt expressed continuing support to China in its endeavour to pursue
development, national unity and territorial integrity. It praised the commitment to the protection
and promotion of human rights demonstrated in the new constitutional provision. It further
praised China’s efforts to ameliorate and promote human rights protection, taking into
consideration the accompanying challenges of being a country with 1.3 billion people. It
understood China’s need to keep the death penalty, which it recognized is strictly controlled and
applied with extreme caution and is not applied to any person under 18 or to any pregnant
women. It welcomed the restoration of the authority to review and approve death penalty cases
to the Supreme People’s Court. Egypt recommended that China: (a) continue its national
efforts for the promotion and protection of human rights, including in the area of strengthening
its national human rights architecture; and (b) in light of its national realities, continue to
implement the policy of strictly controlling and applying the death penalty.
37. Libya noted that China had implemented many procedures and principles in order to
promote human rights and gender equality, as well as the many challenges faced by China. It
appreciated the strategies deployed and lessons learned by China in pursuing prosperity for all its
inhabitants and implementation of the MDGs. It welcomed the efforts made by China to adhere
to all international agreements. Libya recommended that China accede to the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
38. Mexico welcomed China’s efforts in the area of human rights, in particular the progress
made regarding education, labour, health, housing and the early achievement of MDGs. It noted
with satisfaction the measures taken to create the conditions for swift ratification of the ICCPR,
which will help to further improvements in areas including due process of law, freedom of
expressions and opinions and freedom of religion, beliefs and association throughout the country,
and to do so without reservations. Mexico observed China’s cooperation with OCHCR and
Special Procedures, some of which it received as long ago as 1994. It noted China’s openness in
ratifying a huge number of human rights instruments. Mexico also noted that it would be
desirable to continue fostering cooperation with international mechanisms and for this reason
recommended that China a) respond positively to requests from Special Procedures on the right
to food, human rights defenders, adequate housing, health, extrajudicial executions and toxic
waste to visit China; and b) give positive consideration to ratifying the Optional Protocol to the
Convention against Torture (OP-CAT), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
(CRPD) and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced
Disappearance (CED). Mexico commended China for having implemented additional safeguards
concerning the application of the death penalty. This being a subject to which it attaches the
utmost importance, Mexico recommended that China that consider positively declaring a
moratorium on the application of the death penalty with a view to abolishing it.
39. Sri Lanka, noting that 60 years previously Mao Zedong announced to the world that the
Chinese people had stood up, expressed pride that today the Chinese people are standing ever
taller. It cited the political and social revolution of 1949 and the economic modernization
revolution of 1978. It noted that China has ensured the political rights of its people, the rights of
independence, self-determination, sovereignty, and the social and economic right to freedom
from feudal exploitation and to the satisfaction of material needs. Sri Lanka rejected malignant
criticisms by those who tore China into little pieces in the period of colonialism and semicolonialism
and who forced the habit of opium on Chinese people. It rejected criticism regarding
Tibet, which Sri Lanka considers an inalienable province of China. It recommended (a) making
more widely available to the world China’s experience in combining a strong State with ethnic
regional autonomy; (b) making available in international languages to the rest of the world its
experience in economic revolution, modernization and in satisfying the material needs of an
enormous rural population.
40. South Africa paid tribute to the unprecedented human solidarity and support extended by
China to its struggle against the crime of apartheid. It also praised China for hosting the Fourth
World Conference on Women in 1995, which led to the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and
Platform of Action. It welcomed China’s achievement of the MDGs in the areas of primary
education, including meeting the target for eliminating gender disparities in primary and
secondary education and reducing of the under-5 mortality rate by two-thirds. It also welcomed
China’s collaboration with OHCHR particularly the series of exchanges and cooperation projects
in the field of human rights. It praised China’s commitment to the total eradication of and its
continued support for the successful outcome of the Durban Review Conference by extending the
much-needed financial support. While being mindful that China, like all developing countries,
has some way to go in fulfilling its human rights obligations, South Africa recommended that the
Government (a) intensify its efforts to eradicate poverty, ,improve its health infrastructure,
including access to health services especially for vulnerable groups like women, children, the
elderly, the disabled and ethnic minorities, and foster civil-society participation; and (b) intensify
its engagement with the international community to exchange best practices and cooperation on
law enforcement supervision and training with a view to contributing to its judicial reform
processes on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
41. Saudi Arabia appreciated China’s valuable information and clear statements and its
efforts to promote and protect human rights. China had acceded to more than 25 human rights
instruments, including six core human rights conventions. It has implemented its international
human rights obligations and submitted its periodic reports to United Nations treaty bodies
regarding implementation of the instruments concerned. That was a clear indication of China’s
acceptance of international responsibility and political will and a commitment to promote human
rights. China’s policy of dialogue and constructive cooperation with OHCHR and other United
Nations agencies, its invitations to various United Nations officials to visit the country regarding
civil and political rights and its interaction with mandate holders and the facilitation of their work
were further proof of its political will to protect and promote human rights. In view of that and
the invitations extended by China, Saudi Arabia recommended that China to invite other Special
Rapporteurs dealing with economic and social rights to visit the country.
42. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland welcomed progress on
economic, social and cultural rights, progress on the permanent relaxation of regulations on
reporting by foreign correspondents in China, and progress on reforming administration of the
death penalty, but noted there remains a lack of transparency over use of the death penalty, which
can still be applied for 68 crimes, including non-violent ones. It expressed concern about the
human rights situation in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas, particularly as
regards cultural rights, including religious rights, and the use and teaching of minority languages,
history and culture. It asked about plans to strengthen protections for Chinese media, who face
non-official obstacles to reporting freely, in line with the ICCPR. It asked also how China
intends to implement recommendations by the Committee against Torture on re-education
through labour, the treatment of human rights defenders, and protection for defence lawyers. It
recommended that China: (a) release a clear timetable for work towards ICCPR ratification; (b)
reduce the scope of application of the death penalty, and publish statistics to show that the use of
the death penalty is falling in China; (c) issue a standing invitation to the Special Procedures of
the Human Rights Council; and (d) grant greater access to Tibetan areas for OHCHR and other
United Nations bodies, as well as diplomats and the international media.
43. Germany asked about the efforts made by China to effectively combat torture and
maltreatment of persons in detention facilities, and the efforts to ensure that evidence obtained by
torture is not used against defendants in criminal proceedings and that persons committing or
officials responsible for acts of torture or serious maltreatment of detainees are brought to justice
regardless of their function. Germany recommended that China: (a) abolish administrative
detention and forced labour without proper trial, access to legal representation and independent
supervision; (b) ensure every detainee has the right to regularly see visitors and has permanent
access to legal counsel and effective complaint mechanisms; (c) ensure that all detainees,
regardless of their crimes are held in facilities with decent standard and treatment; (d) take
effective measures to improve education, training and supervision of prison staff; (e) continue
efforts to change its legal practice in a way which is conducive to markedly reducing the number
of the death sentences being imposed and persons executed; (f) consider an early release of
detainees who are of old age or in fragile health; (g) review its approach towards religious groups
and practitioners, including those not organized in the officially recognized churches; (h) and
guarantee all citizens of China, including its minority communities and religions, the exercise of
religious freedom, freedom of belief and the freedom of worshipping in private.
44. Uzbekistan welcomed the efforts made in the area of protecting and promoting all human
rights, including political, civil, social and cultural rights and also the right to development.
Uzbekistan stated that the comprehensive work realized in China on a broad spectrum in the
areas related to protection of human rights clearly attested to the commitment on the part of the
Government to its international obligation in the area of defence of human rights. It stressed the
positive results in the area of protecting the rights of women and children, education and human
rights, the development of civil society, rights of disabled persons, health and social wellbeing. It
noted that particular attention should be paid to the national human rights plan of actions for
2009-2010 that assists in further strengthening of the system of human rights protection in the
country and ensures effectiveness of the work in this area.
45. Sudan commended China for its indivisibility of human rights, through its inclusion of
social, cultural rights and the right to development as well as political and civil rights. It
appreciated the efforts undertaken in recent years to continue to promote democracy and the rule
of law, including a number of measures aimed to improve the judicial system, including the
system of “re-education through labour”. It understood that the system of re-education through
labour is a special legal system based on China’s realities. It has a clearly defined legal basis,
strict approval procedures and full judicial remedy channels. According to Sudan’s
understanding, “correctional service” was a more suitable interpretation of the system of “reeducation
through labour.” Sudan recommended that China actively and prudently push forward
reform of re-education through labour according to its national realities.
46. Cuba stated that the millennium-long history and hard work of China would put those
countries on shame to criticize China. It noted that changes had been sweeping in China from the
devastating Opium War and the situation in Hong Kong, and Marco Polo’s exploration, to the
celebration of the Olympics. It further noted that in 1949, the Chinese people decided to take the
path of emancipation and socialism, through which Cuba shared China’s aspirations, hopes,
achievements and challenges. It noted China’s efforts aimed at ensuring that people can benefit
from prosperity and wellbeing and that lifted millions of people out of poverty and fed more than
one billion people. It further noted that the Chinese people had been obliged to enforce severe
laws against activities aimed at destroying the regime. Cuba recommended that China: a)
continue its efforts for the promotion and protection of human rights and also for the legitimate
interests of organisations and individuals work faithfully to uphold the human rights of the
Chinese people; and b) maintain, in strict compliance of law, to avoid the impunity for people
who are qualifying themselves as human rights defenders with the objective of attacking the
interests of the state and the people of China.
47. Ghana appreciated the important contribution and commitment of China to the work of
the Human Rights Council and viewed positively the Government’s efforts to further human
rights within its vast country and multi-ethnic society. It praised several commendable
achievements of China including the reduction of the number of persons in rural areas living in
extreme poverty. It also noted the attainment, ahead of schedule, of the targets set in the
Millennium Development Goals in the areas of poverty reduction, primary education, and a twothird
reduction of the under-five mortality rate. It noted that the Government identified the
measures it needed to take to address the challenges. Ghana requested further information
regarding how the Government intends to achieve the goals of creating 24 million jobs in cities
and towns each year in the light of the current global financial crisis.
48. Mozambique commended China’s extraordinary achievements in development,
education, health and adequate housing, among others, and China’s efforts at promoting gender
equality, highlighting the promulgation of a Program for the Development of Women, spanning
1995 to 2010, which outlines the priorities and indicators for women’s development. It noted
more than 20 per cent of China’s parliament is made up of women and the labour market is 45
per cent female, higher than the world average. It noted that China has already met its MDG
target of eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education. It recommended that
China (a) continue the efforts aimed at further enhancing the status of women and gradually do
away with some traditional concepts in the rural areas that are likely to entrench practices that
may still hamper progress in gender equality.
49. Angola welcomed the policies undertaken by China to promote gender equality and
expressed satisfaction that China successfully achieved the target of elimination of gender
disparity in primary and secondary education set in the MDGs. It noted the great importance
attached by China to the promotion of the right to subsistence and the right to development
through the adoption and implementation of sound policies and programmes aimed at improving
the living standards of its population and promote social progress. It further noted that China
became the first country in the world to meet the poverty reduction target set in the MDGs. It
noted the important role to be played by NGOs in China’s political, economic, cultural and social
life by intervening in different fields such as poverty alleviation, health, education,
environmental protection and safeguarding citizens’ rights. It also positively noted the existence
of 387,000 of registered NGOs. It noted that China amended its compulsory education law to
make it free of charge nationwide. Angola recommended that China: a) continue to strengthen
policies to promote education and to address educational imbalances between urban and rural
areas and among regions; b) share good practices that allowed China to achieve poverty
reduction targets set in the Millennium Development Goals; and c) continue its policies in the
field of international cooperation in order to assist the efforts made by other countries to fulfil the
right to development.
50. Viet Nam noted that China is a large multi-ethnic and multi-religious developing country
with the world’s biggest population. It highly applauded the people-centered development policy
and the determined efforts of the Government and people to have brought about significant
achievements in the area of human rights, most notably manifested in the better ensuring of civil,
political, social and economic rights, the special care for ethnic minorities, women, children,
persons with disabilities and the early accomplishment of many MDGs. It welcomed China’s
human rights dialogues with countries over the years and its active cooperation with United
Nations human rights mechanisms. Viet Nam also welcomed China’s National Human Rights
Action Plan for 2009-2010 where specific measures for the promotion and protection of human
rights are identified. It recommended that China continue its efforts in legal and judicial reforms,
economic development and other areas towards promoting a harmonious society, democracy, the
rule of law and human rights. Viet Nam also recommended that China share with the
international community an experience in promoting the right to development and poverty
51. Morocco commended China’s consultations in human rights with civil society groups. It
stated that the national report was transparent and demonstrated the constraints under which the
Government operated in ensuring the exercise of all of these rights. It expressed particular
interest in labour rights and the rights of migrant workers, who make an important contribution to
China’s economic development. It saluted the efforts undertaken for the protection of the rights
and interests of this category of the population. Morocco also congratulated the Chinese
Government for its efforts in solving a number of problems facing immigrants, such as
increasing insurance protection of migrant workers and the extension of certain necessary
services to them. Morocco noted that the international financial crisis has reduced work
opportunities in rural areas and recommended that the Government adopt special measures in this
context of crisis in order to guarantee the protection of rights in this area.
52. Oman praised that China attached great importance to the implementation and protection
of human rights noting its success in the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights.
While noting that given the great diversity, national unity is very important for China, it
welcomed the necessary importance that China attached to the promotion and protection of
human rights. It asked about what objective challenges that China is faced with. Oman
recommended that China continue its efforts for the promotion of human rights.
53. United Arab Emirates commended the progress achieved by China over the past 30 years,
since it adopted a policy of openness and reform. It said that China had witnessed an increase in
the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights. It appreciated efforts undertaken to
improve China’s judicial institutions and to develop its comprehensive reforms. It expressed
admiration for the achievements made by China to expand the implementation of justice in
society through guaranteeing the right to defence, system of people’s courts and the trial by jury.
Considering the efforts made by China to ensure the right to a fair trial, it recommended
continuing to strengthen its judicial organs through the organization of training seminars for its
judges and judiciary personnel.
54. Nicaragua noted that respect and protection of human rights in China’s Constitution are
constant and consistent objectives pursued by the Government, which has taken a participatory
approach at the international level. As party to 25 international human rights conventions and
sponsor of a number of international fora, China has cooperated well with the OHCHR and with
the work of the Council in an open-minded and responsible spirit on the basis of dialogue. With a
country this large and diverse, one needs to bear in mind the history and social and economic
realities. It further noted that while poverty and the current world economic crisis are only some
of the main obstacles China, which has 21 per cent of the world’s population, faces in ensuring
the full exercise of human rights, it has spared no effort, in line with the MDGs, in working to
meet the basic needs of the people. It recognised the tangible results China has achieved and
recommended that China continue enhancing the quality of life of its people through the
enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights and pursuant to international standards.
55. India welcomed China’s commitment to engaging in exchanges and cooperation with
other countries in the field of human rights and in promoting a non-selective approach at the
international level. It praised the tremendous strides made by China in reducing poverty and
attaining some of the MDGs ahead of schedule. It also noted with interest a National Human
Rights Action plan for 2009 -2010 being formulated, which will identify the measures to be
taken by Government departments and development agencies.
56. France noted that NGOs’ reports frequently referred to various methods of confinement,
such as detention, house arrest, secret prisons and re-education through labour centres. It asked
about any planned reforms on this matter and of what progress has been made in improving the
situation of re-education through labour. France enquired about progress in adopting a law to
ensure the legal protection of mentally ill persons. It asked about the new role played by the
Supreme People’s Court regarding the pronouncement of death penalty sentences. Noting that
the law on the work of foreign journalists was the first step towards creating respect for freedom
of movement and information, France recommended that (a) provisions of this law be extended
to Chinese journalists. France enquired about progress in adopting legislative and regulatory
texts for the ratification of ICCPR and recommended that China (b) state a precise calendar for
ratification and adoption of the necessary measures for the ratification of the ICCPR. France
recommended (c) the reduction of the great number of crimes which are subject to capital
punishment, specifically, first of all, economic crimes, as well as abolishing the death penalty
and increasing transparency on this issue by publishing national official statistics. It
recommended that China (d) become a party to the Rome statute of the ICC.
57. Yemen commended China’s great attention to recommendations of international bodies,
particularly regarding people with disabilities and those suffering from mental illnesses, noting
the creation of national bodies to pay greater attention to such people and to their economic and
social rights. The national programme on debt relief has contributed to relieving the suffering of
10 million handicapped persons living in the rural areas and 15 million Chinese citizens have
been able to enjoy greater freedom and greater rights. It commended the efforts undertaken to
guarantee respect of their legitimate rights. It saluted China’s hosting of the Paralympics and
recommended it continue efforts in supporting persons with disabilities and ensuring their
contribution in social life, as effective partners.
58. Jordan was encouraged by China’s access to a high number of international human rights
instruments, including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It was please
that China was taking steps with the view to ratifying the ICCPR. It noted that China has been
keen to complement its commitments under international human rights instruments by enacting
many laws pertaining to human rights. It commended China for adopting measures aiming at
limiting the application of capital punishment and hoped that it would continue its efforts in this
regard. It noted that the implementation of the Scientific Outlook on Development has proven to
be effective since it puts people first and seeks to tackle their rights and needs in a
comprehensive manner for a harmonious society and thus enabling China to achieve further
progress on the MDGs. Jordan praised China for human rights education through implementing
successive programs, which emphasized education and training for public servants in the field of
human rights and the rule of law. Jordan recommended continuing to place people at the centre
of development in a harmonious society for all so that this approach can further progress the
economic, social and cultural rights. It also recommended intensifying human rights awareness
campaigns and continuing to provide and improve training programs on human rights for the
judiciary, law enforcement personnel and lawyers.
59. The Islamic Republic of Iran commended China’s strong commitment to human rights,
welcoming its openness in addressing human rights issues, as well as its impressive economic
development during the last three decades and significant advancement in Chinese people’s
enjoyment of all human rights. Noting China’s commitment to cooperating with other countries
in promoting a fair, objective and non-selective approach by the international community on
human rights issues, it asked about steps to engage countries at a regional and international level
in dialogue and cooperation in this regard. Noting that the development of internet in general is
something positive but its negative impact can never be underestimated, Iran recommended that,
while guaranteeing this freedom of speech, China should strengthen Internet governance to make
sure the contents that incite war, racial hatred or defamation of religions are prohibited, and
pornographic websites that are harmful to children and minors are banned or restricted.
60. The delegation thanked all countries who spoke positively of its efforts in human rights
promotion and protection and for many important and interesting questions and
recommendations. It noted with regret, and reject categorically, however, the politicised
statement by certain countries.
61. The delegation stated that China endeavours to promote economic, social and cultural
rights of its people, and to push forward democracy and the institutional development for the rule
of law to guarantee civil and political rights and fundamental freedoms. China’s successful
poverty alleviation measures and strategy since 1986 has achieved extensive results. The main
reason is that China adheres to reform and opening up policy based upon its national situation.
The four methods are: the leading role by the Government; a participatory approach by the
whole society; encouragement for self-reliance; and greater infrastructure and capacity building
efforts in those areas. The delegation thanked all the countries concerned and United Nations
agencies for their assistance in economic development, poverty alleviation and efforts to achieve
62. Noting that the global financial crisis has hit China too and has resulted in growth of
unemployment figures, the Government has adopted measures to secure employment by, inter
alia, providing support to small and medium-size enterprises, labour-intensive industries and
service industries, offering incentives to enterprises not to lay off workers; and assisting rural
migrant workers to find and create jobs.
63. The delegation mentioned that its principle in acceding to international human rights
instruments is “ratification is due when condition is right”. A reservation is made only when the
domestic situation calls for it. China signed the ICCPR and is engaged in amending domestic
laws, including re-education through labour, and amending criminal procedural laws to remove
possible incompatibility with the Covenant. China is very serious towards its treaty obligations,
attaches importance to treaty body recommendations and carefully studies and actively
implements all their reasonable and viable recommendations.
64. The national human rights action plan, which will be promulgated soon, covers poverty
alleviation, education, health, housing, women’s and children’s rights and improvement of
judiciary. During its preparation, the Government extensively consulted civil soceities including
All China Women’s Federation, Federation of the Disabled Person, and the Chinese Human
Rights Research Institution. These organisations will participate in its supervision and
65. The delegation said China cooperates well with special procedures and replied seriously
to every communication transmitted by the mechanism. In recent years, it has received six visits
by special rapporteurs on torture, religious freedom, education and the Working Group on
arbitrary detention. It will continue to extend invitations to special rapporteurs and considers
inviting one to visit in 2009. It attaches great importance to their reports and actively implements
reasonable recommendations. The delegation noted that it has provided several times feedback to
the Special Rapporteur on torture on the implementation of his recommendations.
66. Regarding administrative detention and re-education through labour, the delegation noted
that administrative detention is an administrative sanction that temporarily limits the liberty of a
person. It is applied to persons who have committed offences less than a criminal offence and
can be appealed through administrative review or administrative litigation. The Chinese system
of re-education through labour is similar to that of correctional service in other countries and is
applied to persons who have committed crimes that do not warrant criminal sentence. There are
320 such centres in China with 190,000 inmates. Its main legal basis is in various specific laws,
authorized or passed by the Standing Committee of the National Congress. This Standing
Committee has decided to formulate a Law on Correctional Services, in which a reform of
system of the re-education through labour is envisaged.
67. The delegation noted that current circumstances do not allow for abolition of the death
penalty but that its use is strictly controlled. In practice, death penalty is only applied to very
serious crimes and is not used in most of the applicable crimes. If a person sentenced to death
with a stay of execution for two years, does not commit any new crimes during the period of
suspension, his sentence will be commuted to other sentence. A positive consideration is been
given to the proposal to reduce the number of crimes subject to death penalty, especially for nonviolent
68. On the issue of judiciary independence, the delegation noted that in China the
Constitution and the law stipulates that the court should carry out their judicial authorities
independently and free from any interference from administrative branches, societal bodies and
individuals. The law on lawyers is amended and the law of state compensations and criminal
procedural law are now on the agenda of the National People’s Congress to realise justice and
equality in judicial system China. Judicial reform and training programmes of the judiciary are
69. On torture and other inhumane treatment, the delegation noted that the number of cases of
torture is declining and that it would never allow torture be used on ethnic groups, religious
believers or other groups. The law clearly prohibits establishment of private detention facilities,
there are no black jails in the country. Under the criminal law, collecting evidence by force,
illegal detention or corporal punishment of detainees constitutes criminal offences. The law on
detention facilities further prohibits any abuse, physical or oral of detainees. A comprehensive
safeguard mechanism against torture exists in all prisons and detention facilities, comprising four
layers: the first layer is internal discipline and supervision in every facility, the second is
supervision by procuratorial bodies, the third is the National People’s Congress or Political
Consultative Conferences, and the fourth is a special unit to investigate and handle cases of
alleged torture. Victims of torture are entitled to seek compensation under the law.
70. The delegation informed that the amended law on lawyers contains clear provisions to
protect lawyer’s rights, their personal liberty and immunity from sanctions for speeches
defending legally their clients in criminal proceedings. However, when a case involves state
secrets, it is normal that certain restrictions are placed on the meetings between suspects and their
lawyers. Consideration is being given to amending the criminal procedure law so as to further
enhance the role of lawyers in criminal proceedings.
71. On freedom of speech and expression, the delegation noted that China’s laws provide
complete guarantees. The Government encourages the media to play a watchdog role and there is
no censorship in the country. Major stories, like the contaminated milk powder story, are brought
to public attention by the media. No individual or press has been penalized for voicing their
opinions or views. Chinese journalists’ right to report their story is fully guaranteed by the law.
When reporting on certain sensitive stories, some journalists may encounter obstacles or
pressure, which reflects characteristics of the profession. But these obstacles are not from the
Government, but from some interests-concerned parties. The Government and the judiciary body
would deal with such cases of harassment of journalists in accordance with the law. Chinese law
prohibits the use of the Internet or other mass media for creating rumours or instigating the
subversion of Government, splitting national territory or instigating hatred amongst ethnic groups
and religious discrimination. These legal provisions are in conformity with the ICCPR.
72. Bahrain noted the measures taken by China to promote and protect human rights. It
praised the efforts made particularly the work undertaken to guarantee health care nationwide,
evidenced by an increase in the number of hospital infrastructure facilities. It welcomed the
efforts made by China to bring about a decrease in mortality rates and increase in life
expectancy. It stressed that China was the first developing country to have overcome small pox
and eradicate it. It further welcomed the measures taken by China to overcome SARS noting that
reform is being undertaken on health institutions. Bahrain recommended that China continue its
efforts to guarantee the wellbeing, which allows all patients to enjoy basic health care services.
73. Zimbabwe praised China’s recent economic achievements, which ensured better
realization of socio-economic rights for its people, and which cannot be better measured than by
China’s recent attainment of the rank of the world’s third largest economy. It praised China for
socio-economic, political, technical and cultural progress and achievements in the field of human
rights, including the development of freedoms of speech, opinion, expression, thinking and the
enactment of laws related to the promotion and protection of human rights. Zimbabwe
recommended that China continue its poverty reduction programmes and continue to support and
encourage the further development of China’s media use of English and other foreign languages.
This will help the outside world to get to better understand China, including the objective
coverage of China, a country too often deliberately and grossly misunderstood by some
74. Indonesia noted the consistent efforts which China has undertaken to improve and
strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights as exemplified by its ratification of six
core human rights conventions. China was the most populous nation in the world with various
multi-ethnic communities from diverse social and cultural backgrounds living peaceably
together. Indonesia commended the Government’s efforts to promote harmony and
understanding among these communities as well as within the different religious groups.
Indonesia asked whether China has any plans to ratify further international conventions and if it
also intends to implement new legislative norms relative to judicial reforms in the near future. It
recommended that China ensure the implementation of the legislation related to the 60 judicial
reform measures as established at the end of 2008. It believed this would serve to further
reinforce China’s judicial system, and in turn, support the harmonization of China’s laws in
accordance with the relevant international instruments.
75. Japan noted China’s achievements in ensuring the economic and social rights of its
people since its opening up in 1978 and its adoption of the policy of reform. It applauded the
achievements so far, but hoped that China would continue its efforts to further enhance the
promotion and protection of the civil and political rights of its people, including the ratification
of the ICCPR. Noting that, as a multi-ethnic nation, China has adopted various preferential
measures for ethnic minorities, including Tibetans and Uyghurs, and has extended various
economic and social assistance to minorities as it aims to realise a “harmonious society.” It
recommended continuing its efforts to further ensure ethnic minorities the full range of human
rights including cultural rights. Taking note of concrete steps for the freedom of the press and the
disclosure of information under the policy of “placing people first”
Translation - Chinese 聯合國
A/HRC/WG.6 / 4/ L.11
11 February 2009
I finished my MA course in Translation Studies at Aston University with a Distinction Award in 2008. I am a certified member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. I had worked as a professional translator and interpreter for more than five years in Hong Kong. I was engaged in international news translation for the printed media, such as the Oriental Daily in Hong Kong. I am also a freelance conference interpreter. My specialisation includes translation, bilingual editing and proof-reading, editorial writing, consecutive and simultaneous interpretation between English and Chinese. I can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, English and French. The field of translation that i work is mainly political and social development issues.
I am now working as a research officer in a human and labour rights NGO based in Hong Kong. I am responsible for publication, advocacy and international campaigning for human rights issues of China.
Keywords: Chinese, English, translation, interpretation, project management, editing, proof-reading, French, sociology, international affairs, development issues, conference, community interpreting, French, website, synopsis, literary, finance