HC Deb 24 March 1999 vol 328 c301W
Mr. David Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the human rights situation in the People's Republic of China. [78385]

Mr. Fatchett

We continue to be very concerned about human rights in China, including the recent clampdown on peaceful political activists. We have raised these concerns directly with the Chinese authorities through the continuing bilateral and EU human rights dialogues. These dialogues have made limited progress in some areas. The General Affairs Council decided on 22 March that the EU would not change its position on China at this year's UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). The EU will continue to express publicly its growing concerns about human rights in China at the UNCHR, as well as at bilateral and EU high-level meetings with China. It will remain in close contact with its main partners in pursuit of the common objective of achieving concrete improvements in human rights in China. It will keep its policy under regular review in the light of developments there.