A high-level Chinese delegation participated in the third review of its implementation on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) Wednesday and Thursday.
The Chinese delegation consists of representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Front Department of the CPC Central Committee, the Supreme People's Court, Ministry of Education, National Ethnic Affairs Commission, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, National Health Commission, National Religious Affairs Administration, National Disease Prevention and Control Administration, the State Council Information Office, and National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council, as well as the governments of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region.
The delegation was led by Ambassador Chen Xu, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
In his remarks, Chen noted that to ensure the timely submission of the third periodic report, the Chinese government initiated an inter-department working group with more than 30 legislative, judicial and administrative departments.
He said the report is a comprehensive reflection of China's policies, practices and achievements in promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights since the last review.
It details China's latest development and progress in implementing relevant Covenant articles and the concluding observations of the last review. The Chinese government also delivered written replies in full and accurate to the Committee's List of Issues, he said.
Chen outlined that since its last review, China has steadfastly followed a Chinese path of human rights development and made historic progress and new achievements in promoting its human rights cause, including protecting people's economic, social and cultural rights.
China made constant efforts to optimize the overall planning of the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights. Upholding the right to subsistence and the right to development as the foremost basic human rights, China won the biggest battle against poverty in human history as scheduled, he said.
Chen added that China adheres to a people-centered development ideology and insists on safeguarding and improving people's livelihoods in the course of development.
China is moving forward with the Healthy China Initiative on all fronts, ensuring the right to health is more adequately protected. Guided by the belief that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, China has brought significant improvement to ecological environment.
China has actively protected the right to education and cultural right, and further enhanced the protection of rights and interests of vulnerable groups, Chen said, adding that as a contributor to the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights across the world, China firmly promotes international cooperation in the above areas.
He highlighted that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has set out China's central task in the near future, emphasizing the advancement of rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, which is also a path of constantly promoting and protecting human rights.
"China will strive relentlessly to realize the equal enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights for all people at higher standards," Chen said.
During the interactive dialogue, Committee experts commended China's achievements since the last review, took note of the recent progress, including the promulgation of Civil Code, the adjustment on family planning policy, and the ratification of the two International Labour Organization Conventions on forced labour.
To enhance the Committee's understanding on China, the Chinese delegation responded to experts' questions in a realistic spirit, describing China's efforts with detailed data and specific cases.
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is one of the most influential international human rights instruments. China ratified the Covenant in 2001, and was reviewed by the Committee twice before, consecutively in April 2005 and May 2014.