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The EU-China Summit and the EU/China human rights dialogue

Greens/EFA motion for resolution

Tabled by MEPs Hélène Flautre, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Helga Trüpel, Eva Lichtenberger and Milan Horá?ek
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

The European Parliament,

– having regard to the European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Dialogues, adopted on 13 December 2001, and the evaluation of the implementation of these guidelines, adopted on 9 December 2004,

– having regard to its resolutions on Tibet, with particular reference to that of 15 February 2007 on the dialogue between the Chinese Government and Envoys of the Dalai Lama,

– having regard to its annual resolutions on human rights in the world,

– having regard to its resolution of 6 September 2007 on the functioning of the human rights dialogues and consultations on human rights with third countries,

– having regard to its resolution of 7 September 2006 on EU-China relations, and to its previous resolutions on China,

– having regard to the UN Olympics Truce, as passed by the UN General Assembly on 31 October 2007 (GA/10650), inviting UN member states to observe and promote peace during the Olympic Games,

– having regard to the rounds of EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights in Beijing on 17 October 2007 and in Berlin on 15 and16 May 2007,

– having regard to the public hearing held on 26 November 2007 by its Subcommittee on Human Rights on 'Human Rights in China in the run-up to the Olympics',

– having regard to the Joint Statement of the 10th China-EU Summit in Beijing of 28 November 2007,

– having regard to Rule 103(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the EU is based upon and defined by its attachment to the principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law; whereas, at the same time, the EU considers that adherence to these principles constitutes the prerequisite for peace and stability in any society,

B. whereas any decision to initiate a human rights dialogue is taken on the basis of certain criteria adopted by the Council, which notably takes into consideration the major concerns on the part of the EU about the human rights situation on the ground in the country concerned, a genuine commitment on the part of the authorities of the country concerned, with regard to such dialogue, to improve the human rights situation on the ground, and the positive impact which a human rights dialogue may have on the human rights situation,

C. whereas the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games should constitute an important historic opportunity for the improvement of human rights in China,

D. deploring the fact that, despite the Chinese Government's repeated statements to the effect that it intends to ratify the ICCPR, ratification is still pending,

E. whereas the EU is seeking to develop with China a comprehensive strategic partnership that should be based on shared common values; whereas the EU is negotiating with China a more ambitious new framework agreement that is to replace the 1985 EEC-China Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement,

1. Reiterates its view that relations with China can only be of a pragmatic nature; believes, nevertheless, that every effort must be made to engage and challenge China in a constructive and open way with regard, in particular, to the ongoing negotiations on a new and far-reaching agreement based on genuinely shared common values and interests;

2. Takes the view that democracy and human rights issues must be at the core of any future agreement with regard, in particular, to the definition and inclusion of an effective and operational human rights clause, and that the quality and depth of future relations depend on respect and support for such values;

3. Regrets the lack of a coherent and coordinated policy on the part of the Member States vis-à-vis China, something which undermines the credibility of the Union and often weakens the EU's overall policy towards this country;

EU-China Summit

4. Regrets that once again the Council and the Commission failed to raise human rights issues in a firm and proper manner at the EU-China Summit, with a view to giving more political weight to human rights concerns, and that the EU did not take the opportunity provided by the approaching the Olympics to address serious human rights concerns in China;

5. Calls for greater coherence and consistency on human rights, trade, and security; urges, in this respect, the EU to ensure that its trading relationship with China is contingent upon human rights reforms and calls on the Council to make a comprehensive evaluation of the human rights situation before finalising any new Partnership and Cooperation Framework Agreement;

6. Insists that the EU arms embargo against China remain intact until greater progress is made on human rights issues and in particular in relation to the Tiananmen events; reminds EU Member States that the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports includes as a criterion respect for human rights in the country of final destination of such exports;

Human rights in China in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

7. Is of the opinion that human rights concerns should receive more focus in the build-up to the Beijing Olympic Games; reiterates, in this regard, that respect for universal fundamental ethical principles and promotion of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity are enshrined in Articles 1 and 2 of the Olympic Charter;

8. Stresses the responsibility of the EU to speak with one voice and work with its National Olympic Committees and EU-based Olympic sponsors so as to create a basis for responsible behaviour in the preparations for and during and after the Olympics;

9. Voices grave concern at the recent increase in political persecution related to the Olympics, with human rights defenders, journalist, lawyers, petitioners, civil-society activists and Falun Gong practitioners being detained in camps or mental hospitals or being placed under house arrest, and calls on the Chinese authorities to put an end to all these human rights violations;

10. China to take practical steps to grant freedom of expression and to respect the freedom of press for both Chinese and foreign journalists; expresses particular concern about the failure to implement the new regulation on international journalists active in China;

11. Deplores, in this regard, the current clamp-down on freedom of expression and free access to the Internet and urges the Chinese authorities immediately to stop censoring and blocking thousands of news and information websites based abroad; repeats its requests to Beijing to refrain from intimidating, cracking down on or imprisoning those who advocate freedom of expression; condemns, therefore, the Internet censorship law passed by the National People's Congress and the existence of systems of Internet censorship collectively known as the 'Great Firewall of China'; calls for the release of all journalists, Internet users and cyber-dissidents detained in China for exercising their right to information; calls on major Internet firms Yahoo, MSN and Google to stop bowing directly and indirectly to Chinese Government demands for censorship;

12. Calls on the International Olympic Committee to ensure that China lives up to its promises to grant media freedoms and to issue a political statement on the situation in China at the earliest opportunity;

13. Insists that China must respect its commitments and obligations as the host city for the Olympics, which include making the host-city contract publicly available;

14. Calls on the Chinese authorities to put an end to breaches of the legally-guaranteed labour rights of the estimated one million migrant construction workers employed at construction projects in Beijing that are directly or indirectly related to preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games;

15. Urges the Chinese authorities to stop violating the fundamental right to housing through the demolition of residential areas in Beijing and the forced relocation of their residents during the construction of the venues and infrastructure for the 2008 Olympics;

16. Condemns the blacklisting of 42 banned categories of people, such as the Dalai Lama and associates, journalists and human rights activists, which prevents them from visiting China during the Olympics;

17. Calls on the Chinese authorities to provide assurances that its security equipment will not be used against activists and members of civil society; expresses its concern about the appointment of the Beijing chief security officer as the person responsible for the Olympic Games;

18. Calls on the Commission, the Council and the international community to pay special attention to and monitor the human rights situation in the preparatory phase and during and after the Olympics; welcomes, in this respect, the decision to send a delegation from the Subcommittee on Human Rights to China;

EU-China human rights dialogue

19. Stresses that China's human rights record remains a matter of serious concern; emphasises therefore the need considerably to strengthen and improve the EU-China human rights dialogue; calls on the Council to provide a more detailed briefing to Parliament in plenary, following discussions;

20. Calls on the EU Troika to continue to discuss intensively, in the context of the dialogue, matters of concern such as the ratification of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, reform of the criminal justice system, including the death penalty and the system of re-education through labour, freedom of expression, particularly on the internet, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience, thought and religion, the situation of minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, the release of detainees following the events in Tiananmen Square, and workers' and other social and economic rights; calls, furthermore, on the Council and the Commission to pay special attention to compliance with the ILO's conventions with regard, in particular, to independent trade unions and child labour ;

21. Deplores the fact that no substantial progress has been made regarding the release of political prisoners incarcerated for their involvement in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations and also regrets that the Chinese authorities continue to ignore calls for a full and impartial inquiry into the events of 1989; calls for an official reassessment of the Tiananmen Square incident by the Chinese authorities, for publication of the list of political prisoners and for their unconditional release;

22. Urges the Commission, the Council and the Member States to raise the specific cases of the following human rights defenders: Hu Jia and Zeng Jinyan, nominees in 2007 for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought; Niu Jinping; Zhang Lianying; Cao Dong; Chen Guangcheng; Li Heping; Guo Feixiong, Lu Gengsong Yang Chunlin; Gao Zhisheng; and Gong Haoming;

23. Calls on the Chinese authorities to reform the non-transparent state secrets system, which allows violations of the right to freedom of expression and access to information and undermines the foundations for good governance and the rule of law;

24. Stresses the need to continue to organise the EU-China legal seminar on human rights, which used to precede the dialogue, with the participation of academic and civil society representatives; notes, in this connection, the establishment of an EU-China Human Rights Academic Network under Objective 3 of the EIDHR and calls on the Commission to ensure that this network effectively functions in cooperation with the European Parliament, notably by inviting it to take part in these seminars;

25. Reminds the Commission and Council that, in any negotiations with the Chinese authorities on the composition of the delegations that are parties to the dialogue, the issue of the participation of Members of the Chinese People's Congress and of the European Parliament must be raised, along the same lines as the arrangements for the dialogue between the EU and Iran;

26. Calls on China, as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, to comply with special procedures by implementing the recommendations of the UN special rapporteurs and issuing a standing invitation to China for UN experts; draws attention, in this connection, to the fact that specific recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur on Torture l have yet to be implemented by Chinese authorities;

27. Takes the view that the EU-China human rights dialogue should include the human rights abuses and massacres in Darfur and engage China to use its considerable influence to work towards bringing lasting peace to Darfur, inter alia by bringing the Sudanese Government and the rebel movement together to conclude a comprehensive peace agreement;


28. Reiterates its concern about the reports of continuing human rights violations in Tibet and in the other provinces inhabited by Tibetan people that include torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, repression of religious freedom, arbitrary restrictions of free movement and rehabilitation through labour camps; deplores the intensification of the so-called 'patriotic education' campaign since October 2005 in Tibet's monasteries and nunneries, forcing Tibetans to sign declarations denouncing the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist and proclaiming Tibet to be 'part of China'; calls upon China to allow an independent body to have access to Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama of Tibet, and his parents, as requested by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child;

29. Regrets that the sixth Sino-Tibetan round of talks has brought no results; calls on the parties to make every effort to continue the dialogue, and calls upon the Chinese Government to engage in substantive negotiations taking into due consideration the demands of the Dalai Lama for autonomy for Tibet; reiterates, in this regard, its call for the appointment of an EU special envoy for Tibet; calls on China to refrain from exerting pressure on states that have friendly relations with the Dalai Lama;

Hong Kong

30. Expresses its concern at the increasing pressure being exerted by China on the Hong Kong authorities, which is preventing this Special Administrative Region from developing a fully-fledged democratic system based on the universal suffrage;

31. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission and to the President, the Government and the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China.


Sky sunset / CCO Benoit Deschasaux
Sky sunset / CCO Benoit Deschasaux
Low waters of the Rhine river in summer 2022 / CC0 Bernd Dittrich
Low waters of the Rhine river in summer 2022 / CC0 Bernd Dittrich

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