§ Mr. David Atkinson
To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent visit by Lord Howe to discuss human rights in the People's Republic of China.
§ The Prime Minister
My right hon. noble and learned Friend Lord Howe led a delegation to China from 1 to 7 December. The delegation had detailed discussions with the Chinese authorities on human rights and related issues, including legal and religious issues, national minorities, and Chinese policies towards Tibet. They also met families of dissidents and visited foreign embassies, courts and places of detention. They were able to convey frankly to the Chinese the concerns of many in the west about China's human rights record. There was little meeting of minds with the Chinese authorities, but the basis has been laid for continuing exchanges on these issues.
My right hon. noble and learned Friend Lord Howe will in due course submit a formal report on the visit to me. That report will be placed in the Library of this House.