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EU-China: Beijing summit and human rights dialogue

December 22, 2007

European Parliament press release
December 19th, 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".


Resolution available at:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+MOTION+P6-RC-2007-0543+0+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN
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