Fischer cites deficiencies inChina's human rights record

15th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 July 2004 , BEIJING - Visiting German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called on China Thursday to improve key areas of its human rights record during talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing. Fischer told a press conference in Beijing he especially stressed there could be improvements in China's imposition of the death penalty and sending individuals to so-called administrative prison re-education camps. The German official, who acknowledged progress by China in some areas, said other points rela

15 July 2004

BEIJING - Visiting German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer called on China Thursday to improve key areas of its human rights record during talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing.

Fischer told a press conference in Beijing he especially stressed there could be improvements in China's imposition of the death penalty and sending individuals to so-called administrative prison re-education camps.

The German official, who acknowledged progress by China in some areas, said other points relating to human rights were also brought up in his talks in the Chinese capital.

Li rejected the criticism, telling reporters that despite China's huge number of inhabitants, "every individual is just as important as the whole population".

Fischer also urged the Chinese leadership to use dialogue to resolve the conflict over Tibet and the region's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and to peacefully handle differences with neighbouring Taiwan.

He also called directly on Beijing to allow free elections in the former British colony of Hong Kong, which reverted to Chinese control in 1997.

Despite the criticism, Fischer reiterated that the German government still maintains its one-China policy, which recognizes Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong as parts of China.

The German foreign minister is scheduled to meet with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao before concluding his trip to China.

DPA

Subject: German news

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