European Parliament supports resolution against China at UN

The International Campaign for Tibet applauds the European Parliament’s decision to pass a resolution on China’s deteriorating human rights practices.

“This vote shows how much the mood in Europe is swinging towards a new, realistic approach of dealing with China”, says Tsering Jampa, director of ICT Europe.

It remains to be seen how much effort European Parliament members put into the coming months to get the Council of Ministers to uphold their concerns, said Tsering Jampa.

The European Parliament resolution, passed on January 20, urged the Chinese government to respond to international calls for improvement in the human rights situation and to guarantee freedom of political and religious freedom in China, in particular in Macau and Tibet.

The European Parliament called on the Council of Ministers to join efforts with the US to co-sponsor the resolution in Geneva at the UN Human Rights Commission.

The fact that the resolution is passed with a broad support from various political parties is a strong signal that bilateral dialogue with Beijing on human rights issues is not sufficient and must be accompanied by multilateral pressure, says Tsering Jampa.

This resolution is a very positive start to the debates that national parliaments in Europe will have on China’s human rights practices.

9. Human rights: China

B5-0050, 0064, 0079 and 0083/2000

European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in China

The European Parliament

  • having regard to article 11(1) of the Treaty on European Union and Article 177 of the EC Treaty, which establish the promotion of human rights as an objective of the CFSP,
  • having regard to its resolution of 12 June 1997 on a long-term policy for China-Europe relations* and its resolution of 8 October 1998 on the European Union and Hong-Kong: beyond 1997**,
  • having regard to its previous resolutions on the violations of human and minority rights and religious freedom in China,
  • having regard to the conclusions of the EU-China Summit held in Beijing on 21 December 1999,
  1. whereas the human rights situation in China has continued to deteriorate with an increasingly high number of executions, further suppression of organised political dissent, intensification of controls on unregistered churches and interference in the process of appointment of Roman Catholic bishops, the official banning of the Falun Gong movement and harassment of ethnic minority groups, especially Tibetans, Mongolians and Uiguhrs,
  2. whereas China has made no progress in ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights nor the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
  3. whereas, with regard to Hong Kong, the undertakings relating to freedom of expression, political freedom and the rule of law, given by China in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the handover of power, are being infringed, for instance through the request of the NPC Standing Committee to reinterpret parts of the Basic Law after the judgement of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal,
  4. whereas the flight of Tibet’s Karmapa Lama to Dharmshala is indicative of religious repression,
  5. whereas Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo and Vice-Minister Long Yonghtu will visit Brussels on 25 January 2000 to discuss China’s accession to the WTO with EU representatives,
  6. whereas the 56th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights is scheduled for 20 March 2000 in Geneva,
    1. Urges the Chinese Government to respond to international calls for improvement in the human rights situation and to guarantee democracy, freedom of expression, freedom of the media and political and religious freedom in China, in particular in Hong Kong and Macao, as well as in Tibet;
    2. Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to continue to exert pressure on China to improve her human rights record in accordance with international standards and to make clear to the Chinese Government that progress in EU-China relations, including China’s WTO accession, is linked to such an improvement;
    3. Urges the Commission, the Council and the Member States to raise specifically the issue of religious persecution, since there is an increasing trend towards violations of freedom of religion;
    4. Calls on the Council to join efforts with the USA and co-sponsor a resolution on China at the forthcoming session of the UN Human Rights Commission and to work actively, through high-level diplomatic lobbying, to encourage the other members in the Human Rights Commission to do likewise, while discouraging countries represented in Geneva from voting for a no-action motion on China, which would prevent the Human Rights Commission from even discussing the situation in that country;
    5. Urges the Chinese Government to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
    6. Calls on the Council to inform Parliament and its Committee on Foreign Affairs on the strategy pursued and the results obtained by the EU at the UN Human Rights Commission;
    7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Member countries of the UN Human Rights Commission and the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

* OJ C 200, 30,6.1997, p. 158.

** OJ C 328, 26.10.1998, p. 186

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