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China Daily Website  

Public's freedom of speech better protected: white paper

Updated: 2015-06-08 11:14

BEIJING - The freedom of speech is being better protected in China, as the country is working to promote citizens' democratic rights, a white paper on China's human rights said Monday.

The document, titled "Progress in China's Human Rights in 2014" and released by the State Council Information Office, said that by the end of 2014 the population of netizens in China was 650 million, and the Internet penetration rate was 47.9 percent.

The public can air opinions, and raise criticisms and suggestions freely through the news media, and discuss problems of this country and society, it said.

The government encourages enterprises to provide various Internet services to the public in accordance with the law so as to create a good environment for the public to acquire and exchange information, the white paper said, adding that a cleaner cyber space is becoming an ever important place for the public to get information and make their voices heard.

Also, the white paper said that in 2014 China officially designated December 4 as the national Constitution Day through legislation with a view to advancing the rule of law, enforcing the implementation of the Constitution, and promoting citizens' democratic rights to civic participation, democratic legislation, consultative democracy, community-level democracy, citizen supervision and freedom of speech.

The mechanisms for people to exercise state power is being improved, according to the document.

Suggestions were solicited from the general public, experts and related departments via the Internet, symposiums, discussions, investigations and letters before and in the process of legislation.

"Take the draft amendment to the Administrative Procedure Law as an example. From August 31 to September 20, 2014 over 2,300 pieces of advice were offered by 1,586 people on the second review draft," the document said.

The document further noted that China is also steadily developing the consultative democracy, actively promoting the power list system, making greater efforts in improving Party conduct, upholding integrity and combating corruption, and promoting the construction of core socialist values and the role of social organizations.

"Renewed efforts are being made to promote the direct registration of social organizations, providing more favorable conditions and an institutional guarantee for citizens to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests, express their legitimate demands, participate in the management of public affairs and engage in social services through these social organizations," the document said.

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