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Parliamentary questions
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29 March 2021
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000454/2021

The EU has expressed clearly its position on Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang on several occasions in multilateral fora, public debates, and bilaterally with Chinese interlocutors.

In the framework of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue, the EU has consistently expressed concerns about restrictions on the freedom of religion or belief, on freedom to education in a minority language, and arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of Tibetans.

The EU is committed to the respect of international human rights law. It also promotes the ratification and effective implementation of the fundamental International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions not yet ratified by China. Under the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, China committed to continued and sustained efforts to ratify fundamental ILO Conventions on Forced Labour and the Abolition of Forced Labour.

The EU will call on China to respect this commitment. As regards the adoption of restrictive measures against individuals and entities under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, these would have to be unanimously adopted by the Council on the proposal of either a Member State or the High Representative. The Commission does not have the power to propose listing individuals or entities.

The Commission is alive to the concerns around the practices of certain third countries, which seek to coerce the Union and/or its Member States to take or withdraw particular measures. The Commission is committed to strengthen the existing EU instruments by proposing a new legislative tool to protect the EU from coercive actions of third countries . The proposal is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2021.

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