DEMAS joint the letter on China ahead of European Council

On June 12th, DEMAS together with other 11 organizations signed the letter on China ahead of European Council. The letter urge European Council to keep human rights at the core of EU relations with China.

“…Human rights defenders in China, including lawyers and activists who are routinely subjected to surveillance, harassment and imprisonment, face an intensified crackdown this year, including as a direct result of their interactions with the EU Delegation, as in the cases of Yu Wensheng and Xu Yan. In international fora, the Chinese government continues to undermine the normative framework for human rights protection by prioritizing development over all other rights, emphasising collective interests over individual rights and promoting procedural aspects of state co operation over the substance of human rights.

To respond to these grim developments, the European Council should ensure that the current review and recalibration of the March 2019 EU-China Strategic Outlook contributes to strengthening EU actions on human rights in China, prioritizing strong and concrete human rights outcomes across all areas of relations.

The EU-China Strategic Outlook states that “the ability of EU and China to engage effectively on human rights will be an important measure of the quality of the bilateral relationship.” As pointed out by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, China “is becoming more repressive at home and more assertive abroad.” In April, the G7 also expressed concerns about human rights in Xinjiang/the Uyghur region, Tibet and Hong Kong. The EU and its member states cannot hope to build a more reliable geopolitical partnership with the government of China if it fails to address core human rights concerns…”

See the full letter here.