wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
04THEHAGUE2559
2004-10-07 09:14:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy The Hague
Cable title:  

EU-CHINA HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE: DISAPPOINTING, BUT

Tags:  PGOV PHUM PREL KIRF KJUS CH NL 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L THE HAGUE 002559 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/01/2014
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL KIRF KJUS CH NL
SUBJECT: EU-CHINA HUMAN RIGHTS DIALOGUE: DISAPPOINTING, BUT
NOT DECISIVE

REF: A. USEU TODAY OF 10/5/04


B. THORNTON/TRAUB EMAIL OF 9/28

C. BEIJING 16294 (NOTAL)

Classified By: POLCOUNS Andrew Schofer for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: While working-level MFA contacts found
recent EU-China discussions on human rights disappointing, on
balance the October 11 GAERC will almost certainly determine
that the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue is worthwhile and
should continue. Dutch interlocutors stressed on October 5
and 6 that human rights concerns are just one of four
criteria -- along the code of conduct, regional stability,
and concerns of non-EU allies -- that will factor in any
decision to lift or extend the arms embargo. End Summary.



2. (C) On October 5, Gerrie Willems, Dutch MFA China Desk,
characterized the EU's September 21-24 visit to China for
human rights talks (led by Dutch Special Ambassador for Human
Rights Piet de Klerk) as "nothing new" and holding "no
surprises." While the MFA will provide a more formal brief
on the visit on October 8 (prior to the October 11 GAERC),
Willems told POLOFF privately that, in her view, China missed
a chance to influence the arms embargo debate positively by
taking a more proactive approach to the human rights dialogue
with the EU. Instead, the Chinese failed even to respond to
the points that the EU had shared with them in advance.
Without offering specifics, Willems reported mixed results
from the talks themselves: "progress" in the socio-economic
field and rule of law, and the opposite with regard to death
penalty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, torture, and
related issues.



3. (C) Willems recalled that the EU had made clear before
the visit that it was looking for concrete actions, not just
words, from the human rights dialogue process. The current
trip had produced only two concrete results that she could
recall: the promise of a visit by the Dalai Lama's
representative to Beijing, and the setting of dates (November
15-23) for the oft-delayed visit to China of UNCHR Special
Rapporteur on Torture Theo Van Boven (a Dutchman). "There
might have been a third item," she added, "but I cannot
recall it so it could not have been that important." Willems
noted that the October 11 GAERC will consider the history of
the human rights dialogue with China with a view to revising
it if necessary, but would not comment on the status of this
review or likely outcomes. Willems emphasized that, in its
national capacity, the Netherlands "shares the USG concerns
about China's human rights" and is therefore engaged on human
rights issues across the board, with other governments,
NGO's, and public opinion.



4. (C) With regard to the arms embargo, Willems volunteered
that "China did nothing to encourage the EU into lifting the
embargo" during the visit. Willems surmised that the Chinese
wanted to prove that "they won't be pushed on human rights,"
and therefore would not link the two issues. She noted,
however, that the Chinese had been willing to discuss other
"possible EU-China Summit deliverables," although she did not
provide details. Willems stressed that the Dutch, as EU
president, believe they have an obligation to gather as much
information as possible with regard to the arms embargo and
human rights dialogue, create an inventory of the state of
affairs, and present this neutrally to ministers for
evaluation and decision on next steps. The Netherlands is
currently concentrating on "getting as much information on
the table as possible," she said, noting that the arms
embargo is viewed as part of a larger equation including the
code of conduct, human rights, relations with non-EU
partners, and regional stability. In that context, she
rejected the notion that an "arbitrary" December deadline
would determine the outcome of the EU debate.



5. (C) On October 6, Jaap Werner, Director of the MFA's
Political Affairs Department, provided a different slant on
the visit. While he acknowledged that the Chinese could have
done more, he told POLOFFS that, on the whole, the visit had
been seen as "fairly positive." Werner observed that both
the visit, and the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue in general,
could be seen as glasses half-full or half-empty. On
balance, he predicted that the GAERC would most likely decide
that the human rights dialogue was worth continuing despite
its frustrations. Werner suggested that ongoing (albeit
slow) progress on the human rights front would be cited by
some to support lifting the embargo, although he stressed --
like Willems -- that human rights was just one of four
criteria the EU would look at when considering the arms
embargo.

SOBEL