In short, it's a critical assessment of the rationale, means and effectiveness behind the Human Rights Dialogue conducted with China by the European Union. The conclusions drawn are disappointing, and perhaps expected. China's poor human rights situation has not improved in any way, if at all, despite ten years have passed since the twice-annual dialogue sessions began in 1995. Reasons cited are, inter alia, China's insistence on sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs, differing views on what human rights mean and divisions within the Union on how to engage China. The People's Republic's economic and political importance also makes human rights 'dialogue' difficult, if not unrealistic.
Note that the EU is not the only country that conducts such a human rights dialogue. Other countries, like the US, Australia, Brazil and even some Member States of the EU individually also engagement in such dialogue with China about its human rights situation. However, the conclusions and effectiveness are very similar.
Enjoy! : )
Disclaimer: The views expressed are my own, and conclusions drawn from extensive research and use of official policy papers. Please respect my intellectual property rights and cite me if you intend to use any part of this paper.
Talking about Human Rights:
The EU-China Human Rights Dialogue
Introduction: EU-China relations
The People’s Republic of
The EU and
Human rights and the EU’s external relations
Current EU policy toward
It is this latter component of the Union’s policy toward
These contrasting values between the EU and
Even so, in contrast to the
Two objectives are addressed in the dialogue—the promotion of the rule of law, and the strengthening of civil society. An effective and independent legal system is seen by the EU as essential to develop a society based on the rule of law, and to better protect the rights of individuals. Simultaneously, a strong civil society is necessary for the inclusion of social actors in political and social processes so as to ensure developments towards greater overall openness. It is thus the belief of the EU that economic development is only sustainable with greater “respect for human rights, democratic accountability and the rule of law, as well as a democratic participation of citizens in decision-making processes”. As a result, the EU’s interaction with
It is also necessary to establish a forum for dialogue to make the Chinese side aware the reasons why European governments are concerned, and why these concerns cannot simply be ignored. And to prevent individual complaints being ignored, it is necessary for the EU to adopt a common stand in engaging dialogue so that
Dialogue through the multilateral fora
However, it was not long before the suspended economic and high level contacts were re-established, and by the early 1990s all sanctions, except the arms embargo, had been lifted. Living up to its promise of “raising the issue of human rights in China in the appropriate international fora”, and perhaps in order to deflect criticism that the EU was neglecting human rights issues in favour of economic interests, Member States within the Union began adopting a common position within the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in 1992. Indeed, it is at the multilateral level, within the United Nations mechanism where states representing the west as well as developing countries are present, that can better dispel China’s criticisms that condemnations of its human rights situation is plagued by “selectivity, discrimination or targeting”. For many years, the EU tabled or co-sponsored a series of resolutions raising concern about
“[n]o country was immune to investigation by the Human Rights Commission. Procedural motions like this put in question the right of the Commission to deal with country situations at all. Despite positive steps in
The 1995 resolution, tabled by
All talk? The EU-China Human Rights Dialogue
There is little information about the substantive discussions that take place behind closed doors in the twice annual EU-China Human Rights Dialogue. Evidence of sessions taking place can only be gleamed from the press releases by either side, which tend emphasise the success of the meetings, yet no go into the substance of what progress has been made. There is also the EU’s Annual Report on Human Rights, which does go into some detail about the issues of concern raised, and the response from the Chinese side. Then, there are also various publications by non-governmental organisations concerned with the human rights situation in
Thus the latest EU Annual Report on Human Rights, while acknowledging
[v]iolations of human rights continued to occur, these including restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and association, a lack of progress in respect for the rights of persons belonging to minorities, continued widespread application of the death penalty, and the persistence of torture.
Further, as often is the case, Dialogue with
Familiar replies were given on questions relating to freedom of expression, Internet, freedom of religion and belief including Falun Gong, and freedom of association and the role of NGOs.
Despite the criticisms,
[a]ppreciates the EU's persistent position for dialogue and against confrontation and stands ready to continue dialogue, exchange and cooperation on human rights with the EU on the basis of equality and mutual respect […]
From the language, one can see that China responds better to dialogue than conflict, and that it lays important on the idea of ‘equality’ and ‘respect’. China has constantly insisted that it attaches “importance to human rights and made unremitting efforts in this regard” and often cites the high number of conventions it has joined as evidence of its willingness to live up to its international obligations. Thus it has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2001, and signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in 1998. In 2004, the Constitution of the People’s Republic was amended to include that “the State respects and safeguards human rights”, and is thereby recognised as ushering “in a new chapter in the progress of
Yet, to outside observers,
Ratings Timeline (Political Rights, Civil Liberties, Status)
Source: Adopted from Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2006, Freedom House, available at:
The lack of progress on
Explanations for the ineffectiveness of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue
A number of explanations underline the difficulty of engaging in a human rights dialogue with
[puts] the people first and seeking an overall, coordinated and sustainable development, and strives to promote economic development and social progress to satisfy the people's multiple needs and realize their all-round development.
Indeed, it must be recognised that to ordinary Chinese, these are freer times than they have ever before enjoyed, and in line with the
[t]he history and reality of human political civilization have proved that there is no one single and absolute democratic mode in the world that is universally applicable.
Such language thus reflects
On assuming membership of the newly established United Nations Human Rights Council, China said that the Council “should respect the historical, cultural and religious backgrounds” of different countries, and “attach equal importance to civil and political rights on the one hand and economic, social and cultural rights on the other”. Further, the People’s Republic called the Council to work in “an impartial and non-selective manner in order to avoid double standards and politicization, and promote genuine interactive dialogue and cooperation” and avoid the “recurrence of political confrontation prevalent” in its predecessor.
Indeed, one could question why other countries, like India or Russia, which are comparably just as influential economically and politically, are not criticised as harshly, whereas China seems to bear the brunt of the ‘West’s’ lecturing. As fair as the criticisms by the EU are, is it not hypocritical to expect change by a country which has been experimenting with reform and opening for three decades at most, whereas European countries took to achieve in centuries? Given the size and complexity of
As alluded to early, one motivation for
Further, the lack of transparency in the EU-China Dialogue, as well as “diminished international pressure has resulted in the dialogues becoming less substantive”.  Most notably, the failure of human rights dialogues “to address structural systemic problems in China, such as the lack of an independent judiciary and the use of law for political control and to silence political dissent” and the lack of consultation and cooperation with non-governmental organisations “in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs” means that in effect there are no effective means of overseeing the dialogue and its intended outcomes. It is simply unrealistic and ineffective, as many NGOs have noted, that the Dialogue is conducted without the participation of civil society groups, which are invariably have more expertise and are more attuned to the realities and difficulties of the human rights situation on the ground. Thus:
[t]he complexity of the challenges to end human rights abuses and promote greater protections for rights demands multiple levels of intervention by a range of actors in government, the private sector and NGOs.
While the EU speaks of a united and comprehensive long-term strategy, with human rights, though sensitive, as a core component of its relations with China, without the participation and scrutiny of NGOs in the Dialogue, there is little pressure from the public or outside on the individual Member States to adopt a common stance toward China.
That the different states within the EU pursue their individual interests when it comes to relations with
The fact that leading members of the Union, like the Germany and France, are less willing to directly address the issue of human rights when engaging China weakens overall international pressure. As Human Rights in
Policies on the human rights situation in
Ideally this should be the common denominator of all Member States in their bilateral and common positions when acting in unison representing the
have made little secret of the fact that dialogue is more conducive to the enhancement of commercial opportunities than what has been termed "confrontation" with
And the bourgeoning trade relations between key members like France and Germany with China means that it is unrealistic to expect those governments to adopt a tough stance on the human rights issue. As has been put elegantly:
[d]emocratic governments will be more reluctant to spend political capital in discouraging their citizens, and their press, from uncovering the less attractive sides of Chinese reality for the sake of maintaining good commercial relations with the PRC.
In other words, that though the promotion of democracy and human rights “seems to be an important EU policy objective” in its external relations, it is only a part of a hierarchy of interest that is often trumped by “other interests and objectives”, such as security and commerce. Inevitably, as an aggregate foreign policy of two dozen member states, it is unlikely that EU’s approach to promoting human rights and democracy can be “completely consistently […] value based”.
Nowhere is this division and trade off between commercial and human rights interest more apparent than in the issue of the embargo on arms and sale of dual use technology still in place. Within the Union, spearheaded by Germany and France which both stand to gain from a lifting of the embargo, there are arguments that given China’s growing economic importance, it is an anachronistic to place China in the same category as Myanmar and Zimbabwe. Other countries, namely the Scandinavian ones, are not so convinced, thus underlining a clear inability to reach a comprehensive and coherent EU policy on the matter. Even in the Union’s common approach to the arms embargo, it must be noted that the scope of the embargo, adopted under a Council Declaration is admittedly “not clearly defined”, whereby “different Member States interpret the embargo on sales of arms to
The EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports adopted in 1998 aimed to lay down criteria “against which Member States assess applications to export military equipment”, including the need to exercise “exercise special caution and vigilance” when aiming to export to “countries where serious violations of human rights have been established”. From the language, there does not appear to be a complete ban on sale of military equipment; it merely stipulates a responsibility on Member States have self-restraint. There have been attempts to strengthen the code, for the sake of greater transparency and accountability of the exports of individual
Indeed, the embargo has more symbolic value, and to
In a similar vein, given
Another explanation of the ineffectiveness of the EU’s human rights dialogue with
The divide-and-rule approach and playing to the interests of individual Member States certainly works in
In the latest paper entitled EU –
• more focussed and results-oriented, with higher quality exchanges and concrete results;
• more flexible, taking on input from separate seminars and sub-groups;
• better co-ordinated with
In fact, compared to the 2001 Council Communication, very much the same concerns were raised. If anything, the lack of significant improvements since the start of the EU’s twice annual human rights dialogue with
Some states seem to believe that appeals to moral arguments and persuasion that if China wants to be fully recognised as a fully-fledged member of the international community, it should guarantee the rights of its citizens and develop a more open and democratic society that is receptive to free information and criticism. Granting
Despite all the proclamations of successful of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue for the past decade, little substantive progress can be seen on the ground. This the European Union itself has come to admit, and even come to question the effectiveness of such twice annual Dialogues. As explained, these are due to differences between the EU and
The EU’s “[r]elations with
The self-identification of the European Union as a liberal-democracy means that in its dealings with others, the
There is a risk of double standards by the EU towards big powerful countries and smaller, not powerful, countries.
The incumbent External Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner recently called for a “new, extended Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA)” with China along the lines of the current EU-US partnership in order to raise “this extremely important partnership to a higher level”. She explaining that this is because “EU-China relations political and security issues, trade and economic co-operation, science and technology, environment, and sensitive questions such as human rights”.
Philip Baker, ‘Human Rights, Europe and the People's Republic of
China’, 169 The Quarterly 45 (2002) China
Barbara Brandtner and Allan Rosas, ‘Human Rights and the External Relations of the European Community: An Analysis of Doctrine and Practice’, 9 European Journal of International Law 468 (1998)
Elena Fierro, ‘Legal Basis and Scope of the Human Rights Clauses in EC Bilateral Agreements: Any Room for Positive Interpretation?’ 7 European Law Journal 41 (2001)
Rosemary Foot, Rights beyond borders : the global community and the struggle over human rights in
Richard L. Grant (ed.), The European Union and
Tom Grunfeld, `Human Rights and the People's Republic of
Zeng Huaqun, ‘Promoting a New Bilateral Legal Framework for China-EU Economic Relations’, 3 Chinese Journal of International Law 189 (2004);
Jonathan Holslag, ‘The European Union and
Anne Orford, ‘Beyond Harmonization: Trade, Human Rights and the Economy of Sacrifice’, 18
Journal of International Law 179 (2005) Leiden
Randall Peerenboom, ‘Assessing Human Rights in
Marina Svensson, Debating human rights in
Liu Xinsheng, ‘The People’s Republic of China and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights’, pp221-238 in Errol P. Mendes and Anne-Marie Traeholt (ed.), Human rights : Chinese & Canadian perspectives, The Human Rights Research & Education Centre: Ottawa, 1997
From principle to pragmatism: can "dialogue" improve
European Policy Centre
EU-China Think Tank Roundtable, EPC Issue Paper No.21, 6-7 December 2004. Available at:
EU-China Relations-Towards a Strategic Partnership, EPC Working Paper No.19, July 2005: Available at: <http://www.theepc.be/TEWN/pdf/251966322_EPC%20JULY.pdf>.
Factsheet on the EU and China, [no date] available at:
EU-China dialogue on human rights, 22-23 January 2001, available at:
European Union guidelines on Human rights dialogues, Council of the EU, 13 December 2001. Available at:
A maturing partnership: shared interests and challenges in EU-China relations, [COM(2003) 533], 10 September 2003, available at:
Building a Comprehensive Partnership with China, [COM(1998) 181], 25 March 1998, available at:
EU Strategy towards China: Implementation of the 1998 Communication and Future Steps for a more Effective EU Policy, [COM(2001) 265], 15 May 2001. Available at: < http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/china/com01_265.pdf >
‘EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2005/2006’, (13522/1/06 REV 1), 6 October 2006. Available at:
EU-China: Closer partners, growing responsibilities, [COM(2006) 631], 24 October 2006. Available at: < http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/china/docs/06-10-24_final_com.pdf>
People’s Republic of
China's EU Policy Paper, Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of
China's Progress in Human Rights in 2004, Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2005. Available at: <http://www.china.org.cn/e-white/20050418/index.htm>
Building of Political Democracy in
of the People's Republic of
 Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the European Economic Community and the People's Republic of
 Information from the European Commission’s Bilateral Trade Relations with
 See for example the EU’s recognition of China’s key position in, among others, the Six Party Talks on the crisis in the Korean Peninsula, in fostering development in Africa, and regional stability in Asia through ASEAN: in Press Release of the 2771st Council Meeting of General Affairs and External Relations meeting on 11-12 December 2006: [16291/06 (Presse 353)], pp6-7. See also Chris Patten, ‘For Europe and
 EU-China Relations-Towards a Strategic Partnership, EPC Working Paper No.19 (2005), pg21
 Jing Men, ‘Chinese Perceptions of the European Union: A Review of Leading Chinese Journals’, 12 European Law Journal 788 (2001). The author explains that this may be related to the
Zeng Huaqun, ‘Promoting a New Bilateral Legal Framework for China-EU Economic Relations’, 3 Chinese Journal of International Law 189 (2004), pg 205. See also Randall Peerenboom, ‘Assessing Human Rights in
 Miguel Santos Neves, ‘Towards a common
 EU-China: Closer partners, growing responsibilities, [COM(2006) 631], 24 October 2006, pg2. See also current Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner’s statements in ‘EU-China relations: Commission sets out its strategy’, [IP/06/1454] Press Release, 24 October 2006.
 COM(2003) 533, 10 September 2003.
 The Commission policy papers are Building a Comprehensive Partnership with China, [COM(1998) 181], 25 March 1998 and EU Strategy towards China: Implementation of the 1998 Communication and Future Steps for a more Effective EU Policy, [COM(2001) 265], 15 May 2001. Interesting to note that within a matter of seven years EU-China partnership has shifted from ‘comprehensive’ to ‘mature’. Contrast this with the assessment of the European Policy Centre, which in 2004 later qualified EU-China relations as “warm and friendly, maturing but not yet fully mature”: EPC Issue Paper No.21 (2004), pg29.
 COM (1998) 181. Recently the establishment of the ‘Europe-China School of Law’ has been approved, with the “overall objective of the action is to support the Chinese Government in its efforts to develop a society based on the rule of law”: see the website of EVD, the agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs responsible for stimulating international business and cooperation:
 Browse the website of Human Rights Watch, Human Rights in
 EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2005/2006, [13522/1/06 REV 1], 6 October 2006, pg7.
 These values are also reflected in the planned Constitution of the European Union, specifically Articles 2 and 3(4).
 See Elena Fierro, ‘Legal Basis and Scope of the Human Rights Clauses in EC Bilateral Agreements: Any Room for Positive Interpretation?’ 7 European Law Journal 41 (2001); Barbara Brandtner and Allan Rosas, ‘Human Rights and the External Relations of the European Community: An Analysis of Doctrine and Practice’, 9 European Journal of International Law 468 (1998).
 Holslag (2006), on pg571, calls this the EU’s “moral superiority”, and that for
 COM (2001) 265, pp6-7.
 Peerenboom (2005), pp157
 Huaqun says: “The EU believes in the merits of dialogue, in all appropriate fora, over confrontation; the EU and China should therefore tackle their differences in a frank, open and respectful manner”: (2004), pg205. This is phrase an exact copy of one used by the 1998 Commission policy paper [COM(1998) 181].
 Chris Patten, Speech at the 56th UN Human Rights Commission, 27 March 2000, available at: <http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/news/patten/speech_00_99.htm>.
 See Holslag (2006), where the author outlines the individual approaches by certain Member States of the
 COM(2003) 533, pg12.
 Holslag (2006), pp561-563.
 Peter Ferdinand, ‘Economic and diplomatic interactions between the EU and
 Tom Grunfeld, ‘Human Rights and the People's Republic of
 Ferdinand (1995), pg38.
 Romano Prodi, as the President of the European Commission then, delivered a speech entitled ‘Relations between the EU and China: more than just business’ in 2004, arguing: “Our own experience in Europe shows there is a strong link between human rights and advanced economic growth. Prosperity inevitably brings demands for greater individual freedom -- and not just in the economic sphere -- as incomes rise and a significant middle class emerges.” The lack of progress of the human rights situation in China can be contrasted with the situation in Taiwan, which many liberal scholars exemplify as a model of how increased prosperity spurred by economic development lead to the demands from the up-and-coming middle class for political and civil participation, which eventually resulted in the inevitable, in Taiwan’s case peaceful, transition from an authoritarian to a democratic polity: see for example Francis Fukuyama, ‘Liberal Democracy as a Global Phenomenon’, 24 PS: Political Science and Politics 659 (1991). Some go far as suggesting that
 Philip Baker, ‘Human Rights, Europe and the People's Republic of
’, 169 The China Quarterly 45 (2002), pp50-51. China
 Factsheet on the EU and China, Annex I, ‘Declaration on
 Rosemary Foot, Rights beyond borders : the global community and the struggle over human rights in China, Oxford University Press: New York, 2000, pg171; Liu Xinsheng, ‘The People’s Republic of China and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights’, pp221-238 in Errol P. Mendes and Anne-Marie Traeholt (ed.), Human rights : Chinese & Canadian perspectives, The Human Rights Research & Education Centre: Ottawa, 1997, pg235.
 Foot (2000), pp171, 188-189. As Peerenboom (2005) notes, 11 resolutions were tabled at the UN Commission on Human Rights since 1990, but none were successful: pg72.
 Baker (2002), pg52. One tactic by China was to appeal to the developing countries and label the tabled resolutions as an attack on the right to development of the South by supposed universal values of human rights imposed by the North: see Foot (2000), pp192, 206; Peerenboom (2005), pp151-152.
 ‘No action motion’ in Commission on Human Rights adopted in 18 April 2000, [HR/CN/00/51].
 Baker (2002), pp53-54; Foot (2000), pg177.
 One reason offered by the French was that as early as 1994, the United States had not refused China Most Favoured Nation Status despite the recentness of the Tiananmen Incident: see Foot (2000), pp159-160; 193-194.
 Ibid., pp197-198.Baker (2002), pp55-56 For the resolution itself, see E/CN.4/1997/L.91.
 From principle to pragmatism: can "dialogue" improve
 Foot (2000), pp22, 204; Holslag (2006), pg559.
 Part of the reason is because it was felt that the commencement of the EU-China Human Rights dialogue meant that sponsoring a resolution at the UN level was unnecessary. Further, it was believed that it was better to adopt a common position within the CHR, rather than have some voting in favour, some not: see Baker (2002), pg57. See also Human Rights in
 Baker (2002), pg63.
 EU-China Human Rights Dialogue Seminar,
 Baker (2002), pg58; Foot (2000), 23.
 Human Rights in
 ‘EU Annual Report on Human Rights 2005/2006’, [13522/1/06 REV 1], 6 October 2006, pg36. Specific campaigns targeting priority concerns of the EU with regard to
 Ibid., pg227.
 Ibid., pg38.
 China's EU Policy Paper, Information Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of
 Building of Political Democracy in China, Information Office of the State Council
of the People's Republic of
 Ibid. Holslag (2006) calls gestures like this, and the implementation of village level elections, merely “s just a political means, not an end”, in that they are ways for the
 Reporters Without Borders ranks
 Adopted from Worst of the Worst: The World's Most Repressive Societies 2006, Freedom House, available at:
 Letter to the Prime Minister of Finland & EU
Members, 9 September 2006, Human Rights Watch, available at:
 COM(2001) 265, pg11. Compare this with the statement of former External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten in 2000, questioning the effectiveness of human rights dialogue at the UN Commission on Human Right: “[…] if the public continues to read about closed churches and political arrests, about continuing capital punishment and censorship, they will rightly wonder what is being achieved by all those allegedly 'full and frank' exchanges of views”: Speech at the 56th UN Human Rights Commission, 27 March 2000, available at: <http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/news/patten/speech_00_99.htm>.
 Building of Political Democracy in
 Peerenboom (2005), pp75, 80.
 Building of Political Democracy in
 Marina Svensson, Debating human rights in
 Rosemary Foot, Rights beyond borders : the global community and the struggle over human rights in
 In her lecture on ‘Chinese observations on International Law’ organised by the International Criminal Law Network on 1 November 2006, the Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Her Excellency Hanqin Xue repeatedly emphasised the concept of sovereignty and non-interference, which is also enshrined in the cornerstone of China’s foreign policy based on the ‘Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence’. See also China's Independent Foreign Policy of Peace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of
 Foot (2000), 12-14.
 Svensson (2002), pg313. Such references to the past and associations with the current human rights criticism from the west is also a means to galvanise nationalism, and tied with the Chinese regime’s insistence on national sovereignty. See also Peerenboom (2005), pg74.
 Foot (2000), 19-20; Grunfeld (2001), pp84-85.
 Excerpt from the official meeting records of the General Assembly on 15 March 2006, available at:
 Human Rights Council, Summary Record of the 5th Meeting, 20 June 2006 [A/HRC/1/SR.5].
 Peerenboom (2005), pp75-76, 148-151.
 Peerenboom (2005), pp151-152. These concerns are not just those of
 Grunfeld (2001) argues that there is a bias in the Western media to focus on certain core issues like the lack of freedom of political expression, rule of law and free media, while unfairly ignoring progress in other areas, pp72-78. In short, “the positive aspects of Chinese society today dwarf the negative aspects” (pg84).
 Ferdinand (1995), pp35-36. Human Rights in China is also concerned by this increasing trend by countries to engage China on the human rights situation on a bilateral basis, because it is playing into China’s “objective of elminating multilateral pressure”: (1998) pg3 [emphasis in original].
 Baker (2002), pg59.
 Baker (2002), pg59.
 ‘Behind Closed Doors: Bilateral Dialogues on Human Rights’, 2
 Ibid., pg25.
 EPC Working Paper No.19 (2005), pp35-36.
 EPC Working Paper No.19, pg37 (2005): “The Member States of the EU must also recognise the critical importance of speaking with one voice on
 ‘Behind Closed Doors: Bilateral Dialogues on Human Rights’, 2
 Foot (2000), pg7
 EPC Working Paper No.19 (2005), pg37: “The Member States of the EU must also recognise the critical importance of speaking with one voice on
often illusory, commercial interests has to be broken.”
 ‘Behind Closed Doors: Bilateral Dialogues on Human Rights’, 2
 Though Holslag (2006) notes that since Angela Merkel came to power, there has been a toughening of
 Ferdinand (1995), pg31.
 Karen Smith, The role of democracy assistance in future EU external relations, paper submitted at the conference on ‘Enhancing the European Profile in Democracy Assistance’, July 4-6, 2004, the Netherlands. Available at:
 See Factsheet on the EU and China, which outlines the current arms embargo, including excerpts from the original ban in 1989.
 See illustrating comments in ‘Merci, y'all’, The Economist, 26 February 2005: “In a way, on the Chinese embargo, the EU [has] been cacophonous about the justification and the likely consequences, but so far harmonious about the actual plan to remove the embargo. What it has failed to do is to convince its allies that it has thought seriously about the issue of security in
 Factsheet on the EU and China, para.2. See also Holslag (2006), pg563.
 One concern is
 Criterion II of the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, adopted by the Council on 8 June 1998: Annex II of the Factsheet on the EU and
 Ibid., para.6.
 Judy Dempsey, ‘
 See also EU-China Think Tank Roundtable, EPC Issue Paper No.21,(2004), pp22-23, comments by President of China Institute of International Studies Ma Zhengang.
urges EU to lift arms sales ban’, 10 September 2006, International Herald Tribune, available at: China . [Emphasis mine].
 EU-China Summit: EU must continue pressing for real progress on human rights in China, Amnesty International EU Office, 2 September 2006. Available at:
 See ‘Old China, New China’ and ‘Merci, y'all’, The Economist, 26 February 2005.
 EPC Issue Paper No.21 (2004), pg32; EPC Working Paper No.19 (2005), pg16-17
 Huaqun (2004), pg 206.
 Ferdinand (1995), pp34-35; see also Foot (2000), pg176. For an idea of the lucrative business deals at stake for a country like
 Foot (2000), pg9
 Ibid., pp10-11. See also EPC Issue Paper No.21 (2004), suggesting “[i]t is, therefore, essential that the Union treats the human rights dialogue as an ongoing priority, but using old-fashioned discreet diplomacy rather than the megaphone, media-driven version […]” and that “[i]t does not require much knowledge of the Chinese to know that ‘carrots’ are likely to succeed, whereas ‘sticks’ can be counterproductive”: pg34.
 The backfiring of open condemnation of
 See for example the conditionality requirements, which emphasise the need to respect human rights, rule of law and good governance, that are placed on aspirant members of, among others, the Council of Europe, the European Union, and the Organisation of American States.
 Foot (2000), pg11.
 Ibid., 191. Holslag (2006), pp569-570, argues that compared to other countries like the United States and Japan, the EU’s average export dependency is much higher, comprising some 49% of the GDP. This makes it unrealistic for the EU, or its individual
 EPC Working Paper No.19 (2005), pg22. See also Foot (2000), pp222-223.
 Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament, 24 October 2006, [COM(2006) 632 final], pp4-5.
 COM(2001) 265, pp10-12.
 Foot (2000), pg26, says “China is deeply engaged with the international discourse on human rights, but full implementations of the core norms is still to come”.
 Ibid., pg24.
 COM(2001) 265, pg 20.
 Foot (2000), pg6.
 Mary Farrell, ‘EU External Relations: Exporting the EU Model of Governance?’, 10 European Foreign Affairs Review 451 (2005), pg 453.
Human Rights in
 See the statement of the Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner in a press release on 8 September 2006 [IP/06/1161]. [Emphasis mine]. This was affirmed at the latest Council Meeting of General Affairs and External Relations meeting on 11-12 December 2006: 16291/06 (Presse 353), pg6.
Previously I posted other related posts on the human rights situation in China...
Google IS evil!: Founder of Google admits that cooperating with China was ‘evil’.
UN shame (about China's bully tactics in the UN)