EU, China Hold Annual Human Rights Dialogue

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 5:50 am (UTC-5)
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Diplomats from the European Union are holding annual talks with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing Thursday on China's human rights record.

The EU delegates are likely to bring up the government's recent crackdown on dissidents and activists, including artist Ai Weiwei and Liu Xia, the wife of jailed dissident and Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo. Authorities have refused to disclose the locations of some of the dissidents.

U.S.-based Human Rights Watch is urging the EU to set “clear and public benchmarks” for China, including the release of individual political prisoners, and provide the whereabouts of people who have simply disappeared.

The group says a failure to do so by the EU will mean the regional bloc has “surrendered” to Beijing's efforts to ignore any public scrutiny and discussions about its human rights record.