China Says It Is Ready To Release Human Rights Plan

China will issue a “human rights action plan” that an official said will seek to improve citizens’ rights over the next two years, state media reported Tuesday.

The action plan would be the first of its kind for this one-party state that faces constant criticism from international rights groups for censorship and jailing peaceful dissidents and protesters, as well as rising demands from increasingly assertive citizens.

An official in the government’s public relations department said the plan showed the ruling Communist Party was committed to improving citizens’ rights.

“Respecting and protecting human rights…is an important objective and principle of the Chinese Communist Party and the government,” Wang Chen of the State Council Information Office told the official Xinhua news agency.

He did not say when the plan will be released.

The document will be drafted with contributions from courts, the Party-run parliament and non-government groups, and will include proposals to “expand democracy and strengthen rule of law,” the report said.

Wang did not mention any participation from the powerful ministries of public security and state security, which oversee the government’s sweeping powers to detain citizens.

(Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by David Fox, Reuters)

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