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Mr. Drew: A simple thing that we could do is ask the Chinese to stop arbitrarily sending back North Korean émigrés who have fled for their lives to China. North Korea has an even worse regime than China, and we know that many of those people face all sorts of problems when they go back to North Korea.

Ian Pearson: My hon. Friend knows that we raise those issues directly with the Chinese authorities.

Obviously, we are not the only country that is concerned about the human rights situation in China. We encourage others, particularly our EU partners, to pursue a similar policy of critical engagement to help improve the situation. China is re-emerging on to the world stage and is taking an increasingly proactive role in international affairs, while rapidly becoming a global economic power.

The UK wants a stable, predictable Chinese state to play its hand in world affairs responsibly and in accordance with international rules. That will enable everyone—whether Chinese, European or from another region or country—to benefit from the process of globalisation. It is clearly in the UK's interests to have a relationship with China on a number of levels and in a range of areas. We hope that, through our engagement, we can have an open exchange on how we and China view the international system and can both play a positive role in it.

I should like to add a word about how trade figures in our relationship with China. Strong trade and investment links are essential in building relationships
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between countries, and both the UK and China benefit enormously from two-way trade. Isolationism is unhelpful. The British Government and others were rightly keen to see China join the World Trade Organisation, and China's WTO membership is good for the world trading system. However, there is no question of a trade-off between human rights and trade in our dealings with China. In our view, it is perfectly legitimate for the Government to support British exporters who are involved in the Chinese market, but such support is not at the expense of a robust approach on human rights.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned the recent press coverage about the decision of Google to co-operate with the Chinese censors and, a few months ago, many non-governmental organisations expressed concern about the decision of Yahoo to share details of a journalist's user account with the authorities. The journalist, Shi Tao, to whom the hon. Gentleman referred, was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison. It is a matter for Google, Yahoo and other internet companies to answer questions about their decisions to co-operate with the Chinese Government on internet restrictions. However, I would like to make it clear that the UK Government are very disappointed that the Chinese Government are taking such a hard line on limiting freedom of expression and information. We believe that both are essential to the development of a modern, stable and sustainable society.

We have raised our concerns about the course that the Chinese Government are pursuing. We made freedom of expression a theme of our bilateral human rights dialogue with China in June 2005. We led a series of EU petitions during our presidency on a number of freedom-of-expression cases of concern to the EU, including the case of Shi Tao. We were pleased that one of the prisoners, Jiang Weiping was released early from prison in January this year. We have also, of course, regularly raised at high levels the jamming of the BBC World Service in Mandarin and the blocking of the BBC Mandarin language website.

I should also like to respond to the hon. Gentleman on China's one-child policy. The UK Government have never questioned China's right or need to implement family planning policies, but we have made it clear that we believe such policies should be based on the principles of the international conference on population and development—that is on consent, not coercion.
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We have noted recent developments in China that outlaw any coercion in the course of family planning activities. We have raised concerns about reports of enforced sterilisation and abortion and expressed concern about the treatment of activists protesting about this policy. We did so most recently in the case of Chen Guangcheng, a lawyer who has campaigned about abuses of the one-child policy in Shandong, and we led three EU petitions on his case during our presidency, the most recent being on 29 December.

Let me briefly consider our concerns about the freedom to practice religious belief in China. We have serious concerns about the treatment of Christians who are not members of state-sanctioned religious organisations. We are equally concerned about the ongoing political education campaign in Tibetan monasteries and the way that China implements policies on religious belief in Xinjiang. At the initiative of the UK, freedom to practice religious belief was a focus of the most recent EU-China human rights dialogue held in Beijing in October 2005.

Our specific concerns about the way the Chinese authorities view religion and try to control it are well documented, and I spoke about the situation of religious believers in China at some length during a parliamentary debate in July last year. In view of the time, let me just add today that our exchanges at the EU dialogue confirmed our views about the severe restrictions in place in China. We urged the Chinese Government to review their policies on religion as they are certainly not in keeping with the provisions of international legislation.

In conclusion, I want to assure the hon. Gentleman and the House that the UK Government will continue to do all that they can to encourage improvements in the human rights situation in China. The Department for International Development remains engaged on poverty alleviation; the Department for Constitutional Affairs is supporting schemes to train Chinese lawyers and judges; and the Foreign Office will continue to engage robustly on human rights issues of concern. We will advocate change through our embassy in Beijing, through our regular UK-China human rights dialogue and through our project work. I assure the House that Ministers will continue to raise specific human rights issues with our Chinese counterparts at every appropriate opportunity.

Question put and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at half-past Seven o'clock.

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15 Feb 2006 : Column 1535

Deferred Division

Northern Ireland

That the draft Rates (Capital Values, etc.) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, which was laid before this House on 26 January, be approved.

The House divided: Ayes 279, Noes 226.

Division No. 167


Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, rh Mr. Bob
Anderson, Mr. David
Armstrong, rh Hilary
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Baird, Vera
Balls, Ed
Banks, Gordon
Barlow, Ms Celia
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Bell, Sir Stuart
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blackman-Woods, Dr. Roberta
Blears, rh Hazel
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Lyn
Brown, Mr. Russell
Browne, rh Mr. Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byers, rh Mr. Stephen
Byrne, Mr. Liam
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Caton, Mr. Martin
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Ms Katy
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clarke, rh Mr. Tom
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Crausby, Mr. David
Creagh, Mary
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Darling, rh Mr. Alistair
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Denham, rh Mr. John
Devine, Mr. Jim
Dhanda, Mr. Parmjit
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Donohoe, Mr. Brian H.
Doran, Mr. Frank
Dowd, Jim
Drew, Mr. David
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Engel, Natascha
Ennis, Jeff
Etherington, Bill
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flello, Mr. Robert
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Helen
Griffith, Nia
Griffiths, Nigel
Grogan, Mr. John
Gwynne, Andrew
Hain, rh Mr. Peter
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hall, Patrick
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hamilton, Mr. Fabian
Hanson, Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Harris, Mr. Tom
Havard, Mr. Dai
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hepburn, Mr. Stephen
Heppell, Mr. John
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodge, rh Margaret
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hood, Mr. Jimmy
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hoyle, Mr. Lindsay
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Jenkins, Mr. Brian
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Lynne
Joyce, Mr. Eric
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Kennedy, rh Jane
Khabra, Mr. Piara S.
Khan, Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Knight, Jim
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony
Love, Mr. Andrew
Lucas, Ian
MacDougall, Mr. John
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Mahmood, Mr. Khalid
Malik, Mr. Shahid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John
Marris, Rob
Marsden, Mr. Gordon
Marshall, Mr. David
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Martlew, Mr. Eric
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy, Kerry
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McCartney, rh Mr. Ian
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McFadden, Mr. Pat
McFall, rh Mr. John
McGovern, Mr. Jim
McGuire, Mrs. Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
McNulty, Mr. Tony
Meale, Mr. Alan
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miliband, rh Mr. David
Miliband, Edward
Miller, Andrew
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Moffat, Anne
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moon, Mrs. Madeleine
Morgan, Julie
Mountford, Kali
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Murphy, Mr. Jim
Murphy, rh Mr. Paul
Norris, Dan
O'Hara, Mr. Edward
Olner, Mr. Bill
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Plaskitt, Mr. James
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Bridget
Prentice, Mr. Gordon
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, James
Rammell, Bill
Reed, Mr. Andy
Reid, rh John
Riordan, Mrs. Linda
Robertson, John
Roy, Mr. Frank
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Ryan, Joan
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mr. Mohammad
Seabeck, Alison
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Mr. Barry
Sheridan, Jim
Simpson, Alan
Singh, Mr. Marsha
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Slaughter, Mr. Andrew
Smith, rh Mr. Andrew
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, Angela E. (Basildon)
Smith, Geraldine
Smith, rh Jacqui
Snelgrove, Anne
Soulsby, Sir Peter
Southworth, Helen
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Taylor, David
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, Mr. Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mr. Mark
Touhig, Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Turner, Dr. Desmond
Turner, Mr. Neil
Twigg, Derek
Ussher, Kitty
Vaz, Keith
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Joan
Waltho, Lynda
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Mr. Robert N.
Watson, Mr. Tom
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, Ms Rosie
Woodward, Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, Mr. Anthony
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek



Afriyie, Adam
Ainsworth, Mr. Peter
Alexander, Danny
Ancram, rh Mr. Michael
Arbuthnot, rh Mr. James
Atkinson, Mr. Peter
Baker, Norman
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Baron, Mr. John
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Mr. Alan
Bellingham, Mr. Henry
Benyon, Mr. Richard
Bercow, John
Binley, Mr. Brian
Blunt, Mr. Crispin
Bone, Mr. Peter
Boswell, Mr. Tim
Bottomley, Peter
Brady, Mr. Graham
Brake, Tom
Brazier, Mr. Julian
Breed, Mr. Colin
Brokenshire, James
Brooke, Annette
Browne, Mr. Jeremy
Browning, Angela
Burns, Mr. Simon
Burrowes, Mr. David
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Burt, Lorely
Butterfill, Sir John
Cable, Dr. Vincent
Campbell, Mr. Gregory
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Cash, Mr. William
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Clappison, Mr. James
Clark, Greg
Clarke, rh Mr. Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Mr. Geoffrey
Conway, Derek
Crabb, Mr. Stephen
Curry, rh Mr. David
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, Philip
Davis, rh David (Haltemprice and Howden)
Djanogly, Mr. Jonathan
Dodds, Mr. Nigel
Donaldson, Mr. Jeffrey M.
Dorries, Mrs. Nadine
Duddridge, James
Duncan Smith, rh Mr. Iain
Dunne, Mr. Philip
Durkan, Mark
Ellwood, Mr. Tobias
Evans, Mr. Nigel
Evennett, Mr. David
Fabricant, Michael
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Farron, Tim
Featherstone, Lynne
Field, Mr. Mark
Foster, Mr. Don
Francois, Mr. Mark
Fraser, Mr. Christopher
Garnier, Mr. Edward
Gauke, Mr. David
George, Andrew
Gibb, Mr. Nick
Gidley, Sandra
Gillan, Mrs. Cheryl
Goldsworthy, Julia
Goodman, Mr. Paul
Gove, Michael
Gray, Mr. James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Greening, Justine
Greenway, Mr. John
Grieve, Mr. Dominic
Gummer, rh Mr. John
Hague, rh Mr. William
Hammond, Mr. Philip
Hammond, Stephen
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Hands, Mr. Greg
Harper, Mr. Mark
Harris, Dr. Evan
Harvey, Nick
Hayes, Mr. John
Heald, Mr. Oliver
Hemming, John
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mr. Mark
Hollobone, Mr. Philip
Holloway, Mr. Adam
Holmes, Paul
Horam, Mr. John
Howard, rh Mr. Michael
Howarth, David
Howarth, Mr. Gerald
Hughes, rh Beverley
Hughes, Simon
Huhne, Chris
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hunter, Mark
Hurd, Mr. Nick
Jack, rh Mr. Michael
Jackson, Mr. Stewart
Jenkin, Mr. Bernard
Johnson, Mr. Boris
Jones, Mr. David
Kawczynski, Daniel
Key, Robert
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Kramer, Susan
Laing, Mrs. Eleanor
Lait, Mrs. Jacqui
Lancaster, Mr. Mark
Lansley, Mr. Andrew
Law, Peter
Laws, Mr. David
Leech, Mr. John
Lewis, Dr. Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Ian
Lidington, Mr. David
Llwyd, Mr. Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
Luff, Peter
Mackay, rh Mr. Andrew
Main, Anne
Malins, Mr. Humfrey
May, rh Mrs. Theresa
McCrea, Dr. William
McDonnell, Dr. Alasdair
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McLoughlin, rh Mr. Patrick
Mercer, Patrick
Miller, Mrs. Maria
Milton, Anne
Mitchell, Mr. Andrew
Moss, Mr. Malcolm
Mulholland, Greg
Mundell, David
O'Brien, Mr. Stephen
Oaten, Mr. Mark
Öpik, Lembit
Ottaway, Richard
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Paterson, Mr. Owen
Pelling, Mr. Andrew
Penning, Mike
Penrose, John
Pickles, Mr. Eric
Price, Adam
Prisk, Mr. Mark
Pugh, Dr. John
Randall, Mr. John
Reid, Mr. Alan
Rennie, Willie
Robathan, Mr. Andrew
Robertson, Hugh
Robertson, Mr. Laurence
Robinson, Mrs. Iris
Robinson, Mr. Peter
Rogerson, Mr. Dan
Rosindell, Andrew
Rowen, Paul
Ruffley, Mr. David
Russell, Bob
Salmond, Mr. Alex
Sanders, Mr. Adrian
Scott, Mr. Lee
Selous, Andrew
Shapps, Grant
Shepherd, Mr. Richard
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, David
Simpson, Mr. Keith
Smith, Sir Robert
Spelman, Mrs. Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spring, Mr. Richard
Steen, Mr. Anthony
Streeter, Mr. Gary
Swayne, Mr. Desmond
Swinson, Jo
Swire, Mr. Hugo
Syms, Mr. Robert
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, Dr. Richard
Teather, Sarah
Turner, Mr. Andrew
Tyrie, Mr. Andrew
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Vara, Mr. Shailesh
Viggers, Peter
Villiers, Mrs. Theresa
Walker, Mr. Charles
Wallace, Mr. Ben
Walter, Mr. Robert
Waterson, Mr. Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve
Weir, Mr. Mike
Whittingdale, Mr. John
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, Mr. David
Williams, Hywel
Williams, Mark
Williams, Mr. Roger
Williams, Stephen
Willis, Mr. Phil
Wilson, Mr. Rob
Wilson, Sammy
Winterton, Ann
Winterton, Sir Nicholas
Wright, Jeremy
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard


Question accordingly agreed to.

15 Feb 2006 : Column 1538

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