Home > Topics > Premier Wen Jiabao's Visit to US (Dec.7 to 10, 2003)
China's reform and opening-up promotes human rights, says premier(12/11/03)

     Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in Harvard University on Dec.10 that China's reform and opening-up aims at promoting human rights in China and the two are mutually dependentand reinforcing.

    "Reform and opening-up creates conditions for the advancement of human rights, and the latter invigorates the former," Wen said in a speech at Harvard University in Boston, the final leg of his official visit to the United States.

    "If one separates the two and thinks that China only goes after economic growth and ignores the protection of human rights, such aview does not square with the facts," he said.

    "The tremendous wealth created by China in the past quarter of a century has not only enabled our 1.3 billion countrymen to meet their basic needs for food, clothing and shelter, and basically realize a well-off standard of living, but also contributed to world development. China owes all this progress to the policy of reform and opening-up and, in the final analysis, to the freedom-inspired creativity of the Chinese people."

    The Chinese premier quoted former US President Franklin Roosevelt as saying that "true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence," and "necessitous men are not free men."

    "I am not suggesting that China's human rights situation is impeccable. The Chinese Government has all along been making earnest efforts to correct the malpractices and negative factors of one kind or another in the human rights field. It is extremelyimportant and difficult in China to combine development, reform and stability," Wen said.

    "If our friends come to China and see for themselves, they willbe able to judge objectively and appreciate the progress made there in human rights and the Chinese Government's hard work in upholding human rights since the beginning of reform and opening-up," he said.

    The Chinese premier arrived in Boston on Wednesday morning. Before coming to Boston, he visited New York and Washington. The premier is expected to leave for Canada on Wednesday afternoon to continue his four-nation tour which will also bring him to Mexico and Ethiopia.

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