China still has “a long way to go” before its citizens can enjoy full human rights, a senior Chinese official said in a rare admission of the challenges ahead, pointing to social conflict and even rising house prices as stumbling blocks.
Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, said in a speech published in the English-language China Daily Wednesday that while China had made remarkable developments on this front, the way forward would be hard.
“Affected and restricted by natural, historical and cultural factors, and economic and social development levels, the cause of human rights in China is still facing many difficulties and challenges, and there is still a long way to go before achieving the lofty goal of the Chinese citizens fully enjoying human rights,” Wang said.
“Our national development remains significantly unbalanced and uncoordinated because of … wide gaps in income distribution, increasing pressures on prices, soaring housing prices in some cities, food safety problems, insufficient and unevenly distributed educational and medical resources, unbalanced urban and rural development, and increasing social conflicts caused by illegal land requisitioning,” he said.
China has long rejected criticism of its human rights’ record, saying providing food, clothing, housing and economic growth are far more relevant for developing countries like it, pointing to success at lifting millions out of poverty…