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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

China: MEPs discuss human rights, Olympics and Tibet

July 11, 2008

European Parliament
July 10, 2008

In the debate on China many MEPs spoke of their shock at the recent
earthquake in China which claims thousands of lives. Turning to
political matters many Members deplored human rights abuses such as
torture and ill-treatment. A few MEPs spoke of the "improvement" they
had noticed in the human rights situation in the country.

Many Members referred to the situation in Tibet and urged dialogue
between the Dalai Lama and Beijing. They also called for improvements
in the human rights situation. Many MEPs also called for the EU and
China to continue to pursue closer links across many aspects of their
relations including trade, cultural issues and human rights dialogue.

Several MEPs were critical of the decision of French President
Nicolas Sarkozy to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games
(in his official role as President in Office of the Council).

On Wednesday Parliament's President Hans-Gert Pöttering announced on
Wednesday that he would not attend the opening ceremony of the
Beijing Olympics. He cited Parliament's resolution of 10 April and a
lack of any progress in talks between representatives of the Dalai
Lama and Chinese authorities.
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