(TibetanReview.net, Dec07, 2015) – The European Union (EU) has said Dec 2 that Tibet was among the issues it raised during the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights held in Beijing over Nov 30-Dec 1. Rights groups have long criticized the ongoing dialogue, which is held behind closed doors and without any benchmark for progress, for failing to improve the human rights situation in China.
In a press statement Dec 2, the EU said it had also raised the issue of “the rights of persons belonging to minorities, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang, freedom of religion or belief, off-line and on-line freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the due process of law, arbitrary detention, torture and the death penalty.”
The statement also said some 20 individual cases were raised in the context of the discussion about China’s human rights situation to illustrate EU concerns, including those of Noble Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti, Mongolian activist Hada, Chinese rights lawyers Pu Zhiqiang, Xu Zhiyong, and Gao Zhisheng, and Chinese journalist Wang Yu and her son, Bao Zhuoxuan.
Beijing was, however, reported to have asked the EU side to “fully and objectively look at China’s achievements in human rights and conduct human rights exchanges with China on the basis of equality and mutual respect.”
China condemns any open criticism of its abysmal human rights record as interference in its internal affairs, insisting on closed door discussions which have not led to any improvement. Those who criticize China’s brutal repression in Tibet are accused of meddling with China’s core interest as well.
The EU side was led by Mr Ugo Astuto, Acting Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific in the European External Action Service, while the Chinese delegation was led by Mr Li Junhua, Director-General for International Organisations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.