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Wednesday, 6 July 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Relations between the EU, China and Taiwan and security in the Far East

  Philip Claeys (NI). (NL) Mr President, the arms embargo against China was imposed as a protest against the bloody crackdown on student demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Have any fundamental changes been made in the area of human rights in China in the subsequent 16 years? None whatsoever. In fact, a huge portrait of Mao Tse-Tung, the biggest mass murderer of the 20th century, is still on display on Tiananmen Square.

To this day, there are people in prison for being present at Tiananmen Square. Nor, in fact, are they the only political prisoners, for the so-called People’s Republic is still a Communist one-party state without any freedom of expression of opinion, freedom of the press or freedom of religion.

Only the day before yesterday, for example, Bishop Jia Zhiguo, an underground Roman Catholic bishop in China, was arrested. He has already spent more than 20 years of his life in prison. Not only does the People’s Republic of China systematically and continually violate human rights, but it also forms a threat to regional stability and, by extension, to peace full stop. The so-called anti-secession law is like a knife held to Taiwan’s throat.

The European Union is blowing hot and cold at the same time. On the one hand, it stresses that the human rights situation in China should improve, while on the other, it seeks to lift the arms embargo, thereby sending a message to the Chinese regime that it does not have to be too careful about human rights. Taiwan is given credit, and rightly, for its economic success and for real democracy, but it is not being spelled out to the People’s Republic that it is unacceptable to challenge Taiwan’s integrity. Under such circumstances, a strategic partnership with China should not be an end in itself, any more than the so-called One China Policy should remain an end in itself.

If Taiwan ever declares formal independence, then Europe must recognise this without delay and our Member States must establish diplomatic relations with it.

Právne upozornenie - Politika ochrany súkromia