What Helen should tell Hu

The Greens want the Government to raise the issue of China’s massive violation of human rights, during the weekend visit by Chinese President, Hu Jintao.

“They shouldn’t allow their eagerness for trade deals to soften criticism of China’s very bad human rights record,” said Keith Locke, the Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

“Last year China executed over 4,000 people – more than the total number of executions for every other country in the world combined.

“Thousands of its own citizens languish in prisons and forced labour camps, for no greater crime than holding religious or political views that differ from those of China’s government.

“The media is not allowed to criticise the government, and the internet is tightly controlled.

“Too many countries shy away from challenging China on human rights because it is an economic powerhouse,” said Keith Locke. “We must take a more principled position.

“Prime Minister Helen Clark should also push President Hu to engage in serious dialogue with the Dalai Lama over self-determination for Tibet, building on the present low level contacts between officials of China and the Dalai Lama.”

MP Metiria Turei and other Greens will be participating in the silent protests organised by the Friends of Tibet during President Hu Jintao’s visit to Auckland this weekend.