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EU-China: Beijing summit and human rights dialogue

December 14, 2007

European Parliament (press release)
Human rights - 13-12-2007

In a resolution on relations with China, Parliament welcomes closer ties
but highlights remaining differences over trade, Tibet and human rights,
notably with a view to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.EU-China
summit: trade, counterfeiting and human rights

While welcoming the Joint Statement of the 10th EU-China Summit of 28
November 2007, in which both sides speak of developing a comprehensive
strategic partnership to meet global challenges, Parliament's resolution
calls for "a more balanced trade and economic partnership which should
lead to sustainable growth and social development, in particular in the
areas of climate change, environment and energy".

It also notes that "the pirating and counterfeiting of European products
and brands by Chinese industries constitutes a serious violation of
international trade rules" and urges the Chinese authorities to take action.

In addition, Parliament regrets that "once again the Council and
Commission have failed to raise in a firm manner human rights issues"
and that "the EU did not take the opportunity of the approach of the
Olympics to address serious human rights concerns in China". It calls on
the Council "to make a comprehensive evaluation of the human rights
situation before finalizing any new Partnership and Cooperation
Framework Agreement" and stresses that any such agreement will require
the EP's formal assent.  MEPs also insist that the EU arms embargo on
China following the Tiananmen events "must remain intact until
substantial progress is made on human rights issues".

Human rights dialogue: Tibet, Olympic Games, Myanmar and Darfur

In addition, the resolution refers to the recent rounds of the EU-China
Dialogue on Human Rights.  It stresses that "China's human rights record
remains a matter of serious concern" and stresses the need to improve
the EU-China human rights dialogue. MEPs highlight key issues that must
continue to be raised in the dialogue: ratification of the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, reform of the criminal justice
system, freedom of expression, particularly on the Internet, freedom of
the press, freedom of access to information, freedom of conscience,
thought and religion, the situation of minorities in Tibet, the release
of Tiananmen detainees and workers' rights.

On Tibet, MEPs regret that "the sixth Sino-Tibetan round of talks has
brought about no results". They call on the Chinese government "to
engage in substantive negotiations taking into due consideration the
demands of the Dalai Lama for autonomy for Tibet". China is also urged
to refrain from exerting pressure on states that have friendly relations
with the Dalai Lama.  Reports of "continuing human rights violations in
Tibet and other provinces inhabited by Tibetan people" are noted with
concern and MEPs call on China to allow an independent body to have
access to the Panchen Lama.

Turning to the 2008 Olympic Games, Parliament argues "that human rights
concerns should receive much more focus in the build-up to the Beijing
Olympic Games" and points in this connection to Articles 1 and 2 of the
Olympic Charter. It also requests the International Olympic Committee
"to publish its own assessment of China's compliance with the
undertakings given in 2001 before the Games were awarded to Beijing".

The resolution highlights political persecution related to the Olympics,
of human rights defenders, journalists and others.  The repression of
ethnic groups such as the Uighurs and religious groups such as the Falun
Gong is also condemned, as is the surveillance and censorship of
information on the internet. In addition, Parliament wants the Chinese
authorities "to establish a moratorium on executions during the Olympic
Games in 2008, and to withdraw the list of 42 banned categories of people".

Lastly, among other demands, the resolution calls on China "to implement
the recommendations of the UN special rapporteur on torture" and "to
stop its ongoing support for the regimes in Myanmar and Darfur".
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