HC Deb 10 May 1999 vol 331 cc24-5W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood (Mr. Wilkinson) of 26 April 1999, Official Report, column 36, on China and Tibet, if he will list those areas on which a dialogue-based approach has made limited progress; and if he will make a statement on how he intends to press China to take further action. [83557]

Mr. Robin Cook

Since the UK/China human rights dialogue was established in September 1997, and the EU/China human rights dialogue resumed in October 1997, China has taken several positive steps which will bring about its closer co-operation with UN human rights mechanisms. These include signature of the international covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Civil and Political Rights, and agreement to report to the Un under those covenants in respect of Hong Kong. It has received visits by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, as well as allowing a visit to Tibet by EU Troika Ambassadors. It has also extended an invitation to visit to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. We have been able to discuss issues of serious concern including the death penalty, religion, Tibet and individual cases in the dialogues; China has also begun to collaborate with the UK and EU on human rights co-operation programmes. We shall press for further concrete steps through these continuing dialogues, as well as forthcoming bilateral and EU high level meetings with China.

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