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Thursday, 15 December 2005 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Human rights situation in Tibet and Hong Kong

  Philip Claeys (NI). – (NL) Mr President, one of the problems in connection with the persistent violations of human rights in Communist China is the lack of credible, consistent and firm protest from the European Union. We are always paying lip service to human rights, but we do not act on the basis of what we say. The European Union and most Member States are more interested in China’s economic potential than in having human rights respected.

Just think of the European Council’s attempts to lift the arms embargo against China or the way in which European trade missions get in each other’s way in China these days. I was also embarrassed when I heard a while ago that the Belgian Government had denied the Dalai Lama access to its territory, because this could be harmful to our contacts with Communist China.

We are currently debating the situations in Tibet and Hong Kong, but we could also debate the threats to Taiwan or the existence of the lao gai concentration camps in China. It is time Europe sent a strong message, for example by inviting the Dalai Lama to visit this House.

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