Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Tenth Report


HUMAN RIGHTS

Human rights in China: the case in mitigation

46. Having described areas where human rights are being abused in China, we now turn to the questions of whether there is also positive news to report, and whether there are circumstances which make China's record less bad than it might otherwise seem.

AREAS OF PROGRESS

47. There are areas where the human rights situation has improved. The FCO pointed to "modest improvements in some civil rights in China including greater freedom of information and individual speech and greater protection of rights for the accused under the legal and judicial system.... greater freedom of movement and greater scope for individuals to have control over their own lives."[113] Professor Yahuda spoke of great changes for the better over the past 10 to 20 years,[114] while Graham Hutchings told us that human rights "have improved and are improving constantly in very encouraging ways."[115] Under Mao, nothing was private, and there was nothing which was not subject to political observation, control and sanction. In today's China, a private, personal sphere has been created, even though there is still no public freedom and still no political rights. The British Chamber of Commerce in China also pointed to a number of areas where there had been progress: "a National People's Congress with expanded (and largely self-asserted) influence; freedom for students to choose their own careers; increased freedom of movement; the restructuring and development of Chinese media with an increasingly questioning approach; unprecedented access to information through expanded voice and video communications and, in the urban areas, the internet."[116] Peter Nightingale of the China Britain Business Council told us that the "lives of millions of ordinary people have been enormously liberalised", with a greater ability to travel at home or abroad and to choose one's own job—freedoms which were absent 20 years ago.[117] Tim Hancock of Amnesty International also told us that he would be "willing to admit credit where credit is due; there has been a significant increase in the personal economic and social well-being for many people in China."[118]

48. The Foreign Secretary also emphasised the improvement in the standard of living of the Chinese people.[119] The Chinese Government regards the economic expansion which has occurred in China over the last few years as having brought enormous benefits to its people in terms of human rights. The general reduction in poverty and the better provision of education and health care do indeed demonstrate improvements in economic and social rights (though we also received evidence warning of the problems which might arise as socio-economic inequality and regional disparities grew).[120] We also recognise that the mass of the Chinese population probably enjoy at present a higher quality of life than at any time in Chinese history. This assertion was made to us by the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Canrong, who went on to tell us that the West should give greater credit to the process of development of rights in China rather than being obsessed with one or two individual dissenters.

49. As in all other areas, it is also dangerous to generalise about China. Dr Jane Duckett of the University of Glasgow suggested that the greater awareness of, and respect for, human rights in urban centres in China was not matched in the poorer rural areas.[121] We also received a great deal of evidence that there were many people in China who were receptive to reform. The problem lies squarely with the Chinese leadership. As Tim Hancock of Amnesty International said, "there has to be political will at the top to make room for the change. There is no shortage of individuals or groups within China who would be ready to contribute to civil society."[122]

50. At the level of political liberalisation, Dr Flemming Christiansen of Leeds University informed us that the infrastructure existed within which "representative democracy could gradually grow strong." He described the "slow process of institutional change towards democracy" which had occurred since 1979 with the development of a greater role for the National People's Congress (NPC) as a supervisor of government. In his view

    "There is still a long way to go, and the destination is uncertain. The sum of the last 22 years of political development in China has, with some setbacks, been positive, towards more freedom, a greater spread of political participation, less emphasis on political dogma and more rights for the individual. Persistence of iniquities, imperfections and transgressions in the political system must be seen against this overall improvement."[123]

Dr Hughes of the LSE also described the increasing independence of the NPC.[124]

51. A particularly interesting recent development, to which the Foreign Secretary referred,[125] has been the growth in village elections, with more democratic elements but subject to overall party control. According to a recent report,[126] village elections may be extended to township elections, following a statement issued by the Party's fifth plenum that "we must step up the building of democratic politics, make decision-making a scientific and democratic affair and expand the citizens' orderly participation in politics." Dr Christiansen regarded the village elections as a way of improving local governance, but he believed that they did not constitute a challenge to the political system.[127] However, Dr Jude Howell of the Institute of Development Studies advised us not to dismiss village elections as a "mere political charade"[128], while Professor Stephan Feuchtwang, the President of the British Association for Chinese Studies, told us that "political reforms in the PRC, starting with elections at the lowest levels of government, are likely to have unforeseen effects."[129]

52. China may not yet have ratified the two basic UN human rights instruments which we referred to earlier,[130] but the fact that the two Covenants have been signed is in itself an important move forwards, at least in symbolic terms.[131] Our predecessors in 1994 had to wrestle with a Chinese view that human rights in China were nothing to do with the outside world.[132] That argument was not deployed with us. As the FCO told us, before 1997 "China had always maintained that human rights were purely an internal matter and that other countries had no locus to intervene. China has now become more open to participation in international human rights mechanisms."[133] Old attitudes have not vanished overnight, however—Professor Yahuda warned that the Chinese still did not regard human rights as "a universal norm that is something which we all share."[134]

53. One manifestation of increased openness has been to allow visits by international monitors. Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, visited China in 1998 and in March 2000. Mrs Robinson signed a technical co-operation agreement on human rights with the Chinese Government on 20 November 2000. She described this as a "very significant move".[135] The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance have also visited China and Tibet.[136] This is all progress, though these visits cannot be described as trouble-free, or as having brought unalloyed success. For example, negotiations on the visit of the Special Rapporteur on Torture were stalled. Several witnesses also suggested that high level visits did not necessarily result in change: as the Free Tibet Campaign put it, "visits in themselves are not indicators of success"[137], and the Tibet Information Network cited a number of cases where increased abuses had actually been occasioned by visits by international delegations.[138]

54. The FCO's original memorandum also told us that a visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Sir Nigel Rodley, was planned for later in 2000.[139] HRIC, however, told us that Sir Nigel's visit has been postponed indefinitely because of his unwillingness to accept Chinese insistence of a departure from the normal UN terms of reference for a fact-finding mission.[140] We sought clarification from the FCO and were told that a visit in 2000 was "highly unlikely" because of Chinese refusal to accept the terms of reference for the visit, or elements of the proposed itinerary.[141] HRIC cited a number of other instances where Chinese co-operation with the UN was not all it might be: for example, though China has submitted reports to the Committee against Torture, "it is disappointing to note that no NGOs from inside mainland China were allowed to attend the hearings, let alone produce shadow reports."[142] HRIC concluded that "in practice, China's much vaunted co-operation with the UN human rights mechanisms is all too often mere words rather than substance."

55. John Gittings told us that "the positive aspects of what is happening in China should be recognised and welcomed, but they cannot provide a total alibi for those aspects which are negative.[143] We agree. We conclude that the Government should always welcome progress in China on human rights, while making it clear that much more needs to be done for China to meet its legal and moral obligations in relation to international instruments it has ratified or signed.[144]

IS THE CASE PUT BY THE HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATIONS CREDIBLE?

56. Although we were assured by Amnesty International of the steps it takes to verify the data given to it,[145] Chinese politicians argued to us that exaggerations by human rights organisations, whose information was fed to them from seditious elements in China, was in turn distorted by a biased Western press. This could unnecessarily sour relationships. From a neutral viewpoint John Gittings also suggested to us that the information provided by human rights organisations "is not always reliable."[146] China is a difficult country from which to gather information. While not every detail of every story recounted in evidence to us may be entirely accurate, and while we accept that it is not always possible to authenticate stories coming out of China, so clear and consistent a picture emerges from the evidence of highly reputable human rights organisations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as well as China-specific organisations and independent observers, that it would be absurd to attempt to dismiss it. On the contrary, we believe that it is highly likely that very many more cases of abuse have occurred and are occurring than ever come to the attention of outside observers of China. As Dr Jane Duckett of Glasgow University put it, "commonly reported human rights issues are only the tip of the iceberg. Because there is no guarantee of free and fair trial, there are many more miscarriages of justice, often affecting the poorest and weakest in society."[147]

WILL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INEVITABLY BRING GREATER HUMAN RIGHTS?

57. Lord Powell told us that economic change in China would result in political reform, and that this would be "more important than various human rights movements."[148] He drew the parallels of Taiwan and South Korea to our attention, and suggested that a "steadily improving, more liberal, more open society" would result—perhaps in a timescale of 20 years or so.[149] According to Professor Yahuda, "the Communist Party system of rule is in contradiction with the way in which the economy is developing", and the change which was occurring was irreversible.[150] The Foreign Secretary also told us that economic change was likely to lead to a demand for political pluralisation.[151] We heard some very tentative arguments in this vein from politicians in China—one, for example, told us that Chinese entry to the WTO would be the driving force for great economic reform which would change the way of living and way of thinking, and would inevitably lead to political change. The Foreign Secretary identified this new perspective particularly among politicians from the thriving eastern seaboard of China,[152] and we recognise this from our visit to Shanghai.

58. Taken to its extreme, the somewhat determinist argument that economic change is moving China inexorably in the right direction invites those concerned at human rights abuses in China to sit back and wait for an inevitable natural process of evolution to occur. There is an implication that interference, in the sense of adverse comment from abroad, might even inhibit this evolutionary process in China. We do not accept this argument. First of all, political liberalisation is not a necessary consequence of an economic liberalisation. As Alison Reynolds of the Free Tibet Campaign pointed out,[153] it was not the market economy which brought about change in Indonesia. Secondly, to sit back and hope for the best would be an abandonment both of principle and of the brave human rights activists who are at this moment confronting the Chinese state machine. As Tim Hancock put it, "'wait and hope' is not a strategy."[154]

IS CHINA A SPECIAL CASE?

59. The argument is advanced that because of the size of its population and its geographical size, and because of its history, stability was of paramount importance for China.[155] The importance of stability in Chinese ideas was stressed by Professor Yahuda, and the Foreign Secretary suggested that the recent crackdown in China was caused by a determination that nothing should be done which threatened political stability.[156] From this, the argument is extrapolated that China should not be judged by the same canons as small Western European countries. We heard this argument from business witnesses. For example, the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association told us that Chinese people in general accept that "a big country with a huge population needs strict controls, and that they are willing to accept some harsh rules and regulations in return for the stability and certainty which the Government regime has brought."[157] Similar views were expressed by the British Chamber of Commerce in China, which (while acknowledging the abuses) warned against any simplistic analysis of the human rights situation, and counselled "a clear attempt at understanding China's existing social, economic and political initiatives—and the domestic context in which these measures are pursed."[158] Stephen Perry of London Export Ltd argued in detail for an approach to China on human rights issues which recognised "the absolute importance of understanding the Chinese way of thinking."[159] The FCO is accused of accepting this thesis. According to Graham Hutchings "the present FCO approach cleaves too closely to official Chinese views of reality: ie that history and culture have made the country a 'special case' in which adherence of international standards of social and political behaviour is either difficult or impossible."[160]

60. At times China complains that it is being treated unfairly because of its level of development. At other times it uses ideological explanations to prove the inappropriateness of external pressure to change, invoking socialism as an increasingly rare occurrence. More often, Chinese leaders refer to the peculiarities of Chinese civilisation, culture and size (sometimes within the wider "Asian values" approach). They argue that the United States and other nations are trying to impose values, practices and beliefs that are not universal at all, but simply a reflection of their societies' evolution. Furthermore, they argue that global institutions promote the dominant values of the west, rather than really universal values (as no such universal values exist). It is noteworthy, however, that India does not deploy the arguments used by China.

61. We entirely accept that it is never wise to approach any country in ignorance of its history and its current domestic context. In this context, it is worth quoting Article V of the Vienna Declaration which followed the 1993 UN-sponsored World Conference on Human Rights and which was endorsed by China:[161]

    "All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated. The international community must treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms."

We quoted that article in our 1998 Report on Foreign Policy and Human Rights,[162] and we followed it with a conclusion, to which we now return because of its obvious applicability to China. We recommend that the Government continue strongly to endorse the principle of the universality of human rights, regardless of the political, economic and cultural systems of individual states, as reaffirmed in Article V of the Vienna Declaration of 1993.

The Government's approach: the policy of dialogue

62. We look now at what the British Government does—and ought to do—in the face of human rights abuse in China. The Government describes its approach to human rights in China as part of a "series of constructive, but nonetheless critical, dialogues."[163] Other dialogues take place on environmental issues, drugs, organised crime and corruption, security issues and "other international and regional issues of mutual concern". In some way which was not fully explained to us, these formal dialogues appear to be distinguished from the exchanges which the United Kingdom has on a whole range of issues with every country. Interestingly, for example, the Foreign Secretary told us that the USA did not have a human rights dialogue with China[164], which we take to mean that the USA does not have a formally constituted system of dialogue, not that it does not discuss matters of human rights concern with China. In shorthand, the British dialogue with China is a formal policy of dialogue with a capital D.

63. The FCO told us that the aim of the dialogue policy was "to enable us to voice our criticisms and concerns directly to the Chinese Government, and to seek common ground where we can work together to produce real improvements in the observance of human rights." Another aim is "to engage China more fully in the international human rights mechanisms."[165] According to the statement of the two Prime Ministers of October 1998, the human rights dialogue is conducted "on the basis of equality and mutual respect."[166] The Foreign Secretary told us that the United Kingdom "has probably the most constructive and deepest of the dialogues that exist with China"[167] Critics of the policy of dialogue suggested that it was a means of raising human rights concerns ritualistically and for form's sake, while more important items—such as commercial relations—dominated the agenda.

WHAT IS DIALOGUE ACHIEVING?

64. The FCO gave us a number of examples of the successes achieved by the policy of dialogue.[168] These include

  • acceptance by the Chinese side that human rights is a proper subject for discussion
  • agreement to discuss approaches to the abolition of capital punishment (with a visit of the Foreign Secretary's Death Penalty Panel to China in September 2000, and a follow-up visit planned for 2001)[169]
  • setting up a joint working group to work towards ratification of the two UN Covenants
  • the raising of individual cases directly with the Chinese authorities
  • thirteen projects are being undertaken in China funded by the FCO's Human Rights Project Fund
  • technical co-operation on human rights issues

Particular effort has been directed towards legal co-operation—a matter to which we return in more detail later.[170]

65. By contrast, some human rights organisations and others argued that the policy of dialogue had achieved little or nothing. The Free Tibet Campaign told us that "dialogue has produced no progress on issues relating to Tibet",[171] and suggested that the dialogue process should be suspended and reviewed. Its detailed evidence threw cold water on many of the claims made for what dialogue had achieved.[172] The Tibet Information Network made similar points.[173] Professor Stephan Feuchtwang, the President of the British Association for Chinese Studies, told us that the policy had met with a mixed response among the members of his association: dialogue enabled them to continue their research despite the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and enabled Chinese colleagues to air views on human rights more freely, but "it had done little or nothing to release prisoners of conscience or halt further arrests and prolonged detentions of dissidents, demonstrators and migrants without papers."[174] Tim Hancock of Amnesty International suggested that the initial benefits of dialogue were falling away as a result of the deteriorating human rights situation in China, but that there had been no adjustments in policy to take account of that.[175] The FCO itself told us that it would "like to see more tangible progress from the dialogue in terms of real improvements in respect for human rights on the ground."[176]

LEGAL CO-OPERATION

66. We have already referred to the problems in the Chinese legal system.[177] Perhaps the greatest area of success of the dialogue process has been the way it has fostered a programme of co-operation in the sphere of law. Back in 1992 Lord Howe of Aberavon, the former Foreign Secretary, led a delegation to China "to discuss matters of mutual concern, including human rights."[178] This delegation did a considerable amount of work in the legal field, and led to the further legal exchanges which have since occurred. A great deal of effort has indeed been invested by the Government in promoting this legal co-operation between China and the United Kingdom, with the FCO spending over £560,000 in this area in 1999.[179] The Lord Chancellor has visited China, and there is a September 1999 Memorandum between his Department and the Chinese Ministry of Justice providing for exchanges of information and personnel. A similar Memorandum has been agreed between the Attorney General and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.[180] Much of the Human Rights Projects Fund expenditure in China has been in the legal field (treatment of witnesses; sentencing procedures etc),[181] and Katie Lee of the Great Britain-China Centre identified the Fund as one of the Government's principal successes in its dealings with China.[182] The Great Britain-China Centre (which received over a third of its income in grant-in-aid from the FCO) has run an impressive series of legal exchange projects.[183] Some of the Chinese Chevening scholarships have been given to lawyers, while the China Law Council (which is a joint committee of the Bar Council and the Law Society) receives government funds to help Chinese lawyers to learn English and to gain placements with British lawyers.[184] The FCO informed us that these programmes are "specifically targeted to support the process of change and to encourage greater respect for human rights in Chinese institutions," and that "this is an area where co-operation provides good opportunities to improve the lives of ordinary Chinese people."[185]

67. There is, of course, a commercial spin-off. This was acknowledged in the Government's 2000 Annual Report on Human Rights which comments that "a more complete and fair legal and judicial system would promote economic growth—modern commerce needs a transparent, fair system of government and laws in order to thrive. It should also bring real benefits to the Chinese people."[186] Clifford Chance also told us that "a reliable and effective legal system in China is crucial to the success of economic development and foreign investment there."[187] Amnesty International appeared to be concerned that the driving force in promoting legal reform was the desire to create commercial law which followed international norms and so allowed British firms (and their Chinese commercial lawyers) more secure access to the Chinese economy. As their witness, Tim Hancock put it, "I am concerned that a lot of this talk about legal reform is really orientated towards creating what they call 'a suitable environment' for investment, or a 'predictable environment' for investment."[188] We believe that this is a little unfair: many of the projects supported by the British Government are in the criminal law field, and, in any case, projects which promote the rule of law in the civil and commercial field themselves help to engender an attitude of respect for legal norms which, it is hoped, will permeate more widely in Chinese society.

68. Tim Hancock also told us that "you cannot just take a few judges, give them a couple of weeks' training, put them back and expect everything to change." He suggested that if the central government was moving away from respect for international standards then the training of individual judges did not amount to very much progress at all.[189] Alison Reynolds of the Free Tibet Campaign argued similarly that "to tackle individual behaviour or to tackle the behaviour of a lawyer or a police officer is commendable, but if there is an attitude coming down from Beijing that dictates a certain pattern, then you are not really going to solve the problem."[190] The Tibet Information Network wrote that "the establishment of the rule of law in China is seen as vitally important by all those who wish to see successful reform in China. However, this worthy objective has all too often been used as an excuse for inactivity."[191] We agree that legal assistance must not be an excuse for inaction in other areas, but we also accept that the more individual judges, prosecutors, police officers and prison staff are able to see how the rule of law works in a country like the United Kingdom, the more it is likely that there will be pressure for change inside China.

69. Graham Hutchings gave us a good illustration of the sort of results which can be achieved. He described how the exchanges with legal and judicial organisations had made the Great Britain-China Centre aware that "there is a whole lot of private debate about what we would term human rights issues", much of it in private. Some could appear as academic research, such as a study by the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Services into freedom of expression and mass communications law. He told us that he felt "very strongly that the way to encourage and inform this kind of debate in China is by increasing the number of exchanges with the UK so that the next generation of officials and leaders do have an understanding of what is meant by internationally accepted norms for human rights."[192] David Brewer of British Invisibles (who is Chairman of the Great Britain-China Centre) also told us of the "huge amount of practical demonstration of not just what we think they should do but why it is right for us and what they can learn from it." He said that he appreciated it took time for change to occur, but "such practical support is much better than just words."[193] Dr Steve Tsang argued that "in the long term one of the most practical helps this country can offer to the Chinese people" is to set up training programmes allowing Chinese judicial officers to visit the United Kingdom for at least six months to observe how the rule of law and judicial independence are part of the way of life in this country.[194] Dr Jane Duckett laid similar stress on the importance of aiding legal institutionalisation.[195]

70. A particularly persuasive memorandum was received from Sir Philip Otton, a Lord Justice of Appeal who has been involved in dialogue with Chinese lawyers since 1998, and who led the British lawyers in a British Law Week held in China that year, as well as in a series of seminars held in Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing in 1999.[196] He told us that "there continue to be areas of great concern in the human rights fields", but that all those involved with China "cannot but be impressed by the extent to which human rights considerations are infiltrating all aspects of development in civil and criminal procedures." He described how he and his colleagues "have encountered highly intelligent and enlightened people in positions of influence who have a genuine desire to grapple with human rights issues", and he said that he had "come to the very firm view.... that these programmes of legal exchange have the very important results of keeping human rights and public law principles on the agenda."[197] It is apparent that the Chinese have been receptive to British involvement in the legal sphere, and it is right for the Government to capitalise upon this. Each individual part of the programme may be small in itself, but the cumulative effect of multiple contacts must be beneficial.

71. "Cumulative effect" and "long term engagement" are words often used in the context of the legal co-operation programme. It is important that we build on what has already been achieved, and not move to other areas of human rights co-operation at the expense of legal co-operation. It is also important that projects to be supported in China should cohere in developing a rights-based legal culture. Sir Philip Otton argued that the dialogue "should be maintained and extended."[198] We agree. Legal co-operation, even if much of it is directed to the commercial benefit of China, is an important niche which we can develop. We conclude that a programme of legal co-operation is a sensible way for the United Kingdom to advance the human rights agenda in China. We must make clear that legal co-operation in the sphere of commerce must not eclipse the human rights aspect of legal co-operation. We therefore recommend that the Government commit itself to a long-term co-ordinated programme of legal co-operation in the interests of human rights in China.

IMPROVING THE DIALOGUE PROCESS

72. Even the Free Tibet Campaign, one of the most trenchant critics of the dialogue process, told us that it was "not opposed to dialogue, provided it is effective."[199] They suggested both a more transparent process, and the introduction of benchmarks for progress. Alison Reynolds of the Campaign suggested that there should be an open review of the achievements of dialogue, involving external organisations such as hers.[200] Professor Rosemary Foot of Oxford University called for a serious appraisal and evaluation of the dialogue process.[201] HRIC also told us that it was "not opposed to bilateral dialogue", but it suggested that the dialogue process had become the only mechanism used to engage China, and that instead there should be a number of different approaches, including multilateral and public pressure.[202]

73. HRIC set out six principal recommendations for ways in which the dialogue process could be improved:

  • a clear, substantive agenda, discussed in advance with interested groups, and focussed on achieving specific and tangible objectives
  • a transparent and accountable process, with regular reporting on achievements
  • independent participation in the dialogue
  • co-ordination between dialogue partners at the international level
  • co-operation with UN Human Rights Mechanisms
  • an integrated strategy, with no compromises on human rights standards, and with a willingness to exert pressure and to withdraw from dialogue if no progress is made.[203]

74. We put these proposals to the Foreign Secretary who was open-minded about them.[204] We deal with aspects of the three final recommendations later.[205] As far as a clear agenda for the dialogue, with benchmarks, reports and co-ordination with the NGOs is concerned, we agree in principle with HRIC's proposals. The dialogue process is cloaked with too much obscurity for outsiders to judge whether or not it is successful. We can see no reason why the Chinese should object to dialogue conducted on this basis. We recommend that, so long as the dialogue process continues, the Government should set out in each year's Human Rights Report its objectives in relation to China for the year to come and its achievements over the past year. Both objectives and achievements should be expressed in as explicit and measurable a form as possible.

75. None of the human rights organisations argued that the Government was not prepared to listen to them. The argument was rather that the Government did not follow their advice. As far as independent participation in the dialogue is concerned, HRIC acknowledges that NGOs have been involved in the past, but have, for their own reasons dropped out of the process.[206] For example, Amnesty International told us that they had withdrawn from dialogue because they thought it a circular process where no real progress was being made.[207] Other organisations were excluded from dialogue at the insistence of the Chinese. According to Alison Reynolds, the Free Tibet Campaign was not allowed to participate because "the Chinese, in no uncertain terms, let it be known that they would not expect any organisation advocating a political change to the status of Tibet to be included."[208] We fully accept that the Government has a wider agenda than that of human rights organisations, but we recommend that the Government does all that it can to involve human rights organisations in the dialogue process.

76. Essentially the Government's approach has been a gradualist one—chipping away at the edges of human rights abuse and an attempt to offer discreet help to reforming forces inside China. A gradualist approach is not necessarily a minimalist approach. Megaphone diplomacy and grand gestures might make a temporary media splash, but a consistent advance on a number of fronts can bring worthwhile results. As we have already outlined, the legal reform programme has inched forward in a number of important areas, with a considerable cumulative benefit. We do, however, believe that there are a number of further steps that can be taken to try to bring about higher human rights standards in China.


113   Ev. p. 106. Back

114   Q32. Back

115   Q82. Back

116   Ev. p. 175, Appendix 15. Back

117   QQ111, 123. Back

118   Q223. Back

119   Q270. Back

120   See Ev. p. 162, Appendix 10; p. 176, Appendix 15. Back

121   Ev. p. 184, Appendix 17. Back

122   Q217. Back

123   Ev. p. 182, Appendix 16. Back

124   QQ3-4. Back

125   Q228. Back

126   Financial Times of November 1 2000. Back

127   Ev. p. 181, Appendix 16. Back

128   Ev. p. 163, Appendix 10. Back

129   Ev. p. 200, Appendix 24. Back

130   See para. 45. Back

131   See paras. 82ff below for suggestions as to how pressure could be put upon China to ratify the Conventions. Back

132   HC 37, Session 1993-94, paras. 216-223. Back

133   Ev. p. 106. Back

134   Q30. Back

135   BBC News Website, 20 November 2000 Back

136   Ev. p. 106. Back

137   Ev. p. 85; Q208. Back

138   Ev. p. 206, Appendix 25. Back

139   Ev. p. 101. Back

140   Ev. p. 247, Appendix 40. Back

141   Ev. p. 127. Back

142   Ev. p. 248, Appendix 40. Back

143   Ev. p. 226, Appendix 30. Back

144   For obligations on signature, see footnote 112. Back

145   QQ202ff. Back

146   Ev. p. 226, Appendix 30. Back

147   Ev. p. 185, Appendix 17. Back

148   QQ94-5. Back

149   Q127. Back

150   Q36. Back

151   Q257. Back

152   Q259. Back

153   Q220. Back

154   Q220. Back

155   We discuss below-see paras. 115ff-whether China is a special economic case. Back

156   QQ30, 252. Back

157   Ev. p. 154, Appendix 6. Back

158   Ev. p. 175, Appendix 15. Back

159   Ev. pp. 61-64. Back

160   Ev. p. 23. Back

161   UN Document A/Conf/157/24. Back

162   HC 100, Session 1998-99, para. 32. Back

163   Ev. p. 105.  Back

164   Q272; The BBC reported that President Jiang Zemin told President Clinton on 16 November that China was prepared to resume its bilateral human rights dialogue with Washington. Back

165   Ev. p. 105. Back

166   Ev. p. 113. Back

167   Q227. Back

168   Ev. p. 106; see also QQ227ff. Back

169   Ev. p. 124. Back

170   See paras. 66ff. Back

171   Ev. p. 82. Back

172   Ev. p. 84. Back

173   Ev. pp. 211ff, Appendix 26. Back

174   Ev. p. 201, Appendix 24. Back

175   Q181. Back

176   Ev. p. 107. Back

177   See para. 37. Back

178   Lord Howe sent us copies of speeches he had made in 1996 and 1997 on human rights in China and on the rule of law. Back

179   Cm 4774, p. 87. Back

180   Ev. p. 107. Back

181   Ev. p. 107. Back

182   Q10. Back

183   Ev. pp. 2, 5-7. Back

184   Ev. p. 107. Back

185   Ev. pp. 106 and 107. Back

186   Cm 4774, p. 87. Back

187   Ev. p. 241, Appendix 38. Back

188   Q222. Back

189   Q222. Back

190   Q222. Back

191   Ev. p. 203, Appendix 25. Back

192   Ev. p. 35. Back

193   Q110. Back

194   Ev. p. 157, Appendix 7. Back

195   Ev. p. 185, Appendix 17. Back

196   Reports of these seminars are contained in Appendix 8, Ev. pp. 159ff. Back

197   Ev. p. 159, Appendix 8. Back

198   Ev. p. 159, Appendix 8. Back

199   Ev. p. 87; Q187. Back

200   QQ183-4. Back

201   Ev. pp. 161-2, Appendix 9. Back

202   Ev. pp. 246ff, Appendix 40. Back

203   Ev. pp. 246-9, Appendix 40. Back

204   Q272. Back

205   See paras. 77ff. Back

206   Ev. p. 247, Appendix 40. Back

207   Q188. Back

208   Q207. Back


 
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