BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- A white paper released Wednesday by the State Council Information Office noted the achievements made by China in better protecting the rights to subsistence and development over the past 40 years of reform and opening up.
Over the past four decades, China has worked to better protect basic human rights with its primary focus on the rights to subsistence and development, said the white paper, titled "Progress in Human Rights over the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up in China."
Development is China's top priority in governance and considered to be the key to addressing the country's main problems, the white paper said, noting that China has focused on ensuring and improving people's wellbeing by resolving their most serious and urgent problems, realizing historic leaps from poverty to securing access to food and clothing, and thence to moderate prosperity.
Tremendous achievements have been made in poverty alleviation, the white paper said, citing World Bank estimates that over the past 40 years, the number of people in China living on less than 1.9 U.S. dollars a day (international poverty line) has dropped by more than 850 million, accounting for 70 percent of the total world figure.
Adequate supply of food and clothing has been ensured in China, with grain output in 2017 doubling that of 1978. Safer drinking water has been guaranteed, basic housing conditions have been improved and public transport has become safer and more convenient, it said.
The rights to life and health have been better protected, the white paper said, noting that since reform and opening up, the country has quickened its pace toward a healthy China by increasing public access to health services throughout the life cycle.
The white paper also said that social assistance has been expanded and environmental rights have been better protected.