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China trumpets 'human rights action plan'

More democracy, sometime soon

By Lester Haines, 4 Nov 2008

China has declared that it will instigate a "human rights action plan" over the next two years designed in part to "expand democracy and strengthen rule of law".

According to Xinhua, the document will be formulated with contributions from the courts, parliament and non-government groups. Wang Chen of the government's PR department, the State Council Information Office, said the plan "showed the ruling Communist Party was committed to improving citizens' rights".

He insisted: "Respecting and protecting human rights ... is an important objective and principle of the Chinese Communist Party and the government."

Wang didn't give a release date for the document, and didn't mention any input from "the powerful ministries of public security and state security, which oversee the government's sweeping powers to detain citizens", as Reuters puts it. ®

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