June 1, 2017

China: Human Rights Should be at the Forefront of the EU Summit

The EU-China Summit will take place on 1-2 June 2017 in Brussels and will be the occasion for the EU to reinforce its concern on the human rights violations in China. As the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini will attend the Summit, we believe that this would be the perfect occasion to talk about human rights.

With 15 other nongovernmental organizations, the UNPO sent a joint letter calling the European leaders to put pressure on Beijing to stop its massive crackdown on civil society. The organizations have noticed that under Xi Jinping’s presidency there has been an outbreak of human rights violations, especially in Tibetan areas and in the Xinjian Uyghur Autonomous Region. Beijing have adopted new “anti-terrorism” and “anti-corruption” laws that further curtails fundamental human rights, such as freedom of expression, association, religion of belief.

The EU has already denounced the deterioration of the human rights situation in China and expressed its solidarity with independent civil society. However, the organizations regret that the European leaders have not taken Beijing to task for its appalling behavior in the field of human rights.

Several Members of the European Parliament (MEP) recently urged the EU to review Human Rights dialogue with China and co-signed a letter published on Euractiv. Meanwhile, a coalition of sixteen civil society organisations, including UNPO, have issued a statement emphasizing that a renewed dialogue is only viable and beneficial to the Human Rights situation in China if a truly meaningful exchange is made possible and if the outcomes of this dialogue are regularly and critically reviewed.

In addition, the coalition asks for the EU to ensure that human rights issues are put on the agenda of all other EU-China meetings, and reiterates the need to resume talks with Dalai Lama’s representatives and should make clear the steps the EU will take if China does not act to end abuses and release jailed activists.

The EU-Summit will take place three days ahead the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing.  This is an important reminder for all of us to raise our voices and stand for human rights. You are invited to join us at the protest calling the EU to engage publicly and mobilize for human rights in China the 2 June 2017 in Brussels.