Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-09-06-Speech-3-323"

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". Mr President, there is much we can agree with in Mr Belder’s report. We agree that China needs to shoulder a growing international responsibility because of its status as a permanent member of the Security Council and now as the world’s fourth largest economy. We agree with the importance of China’s role in Africa and the Middle East. We need to have a dialogue with China over the situation in North Korea, where it has been playing an important role chairing the six-party talks; over Iran, where China can play a role in trying to find a solution to the nuclear crisis; and over Darfur, where China, because of its oil interests, has to date been resisting the deployment of UN forces. We look forward to the establishment of an EU-China strategic partnership and we certainly support the need for the abolition of the death penalty – something we urge in all countries, including Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States. We need to see continued improvement in human rights. However, unfortunately, in total, the report suffers from both a lack of balance and the sins of omission. I thought they were sins of omission, but in his opening speech Mr Belder has made it clear that the reason that the one-China policy is not in the report is not because he has forgotten, but he is actually in favour of changing it. I hope that those in the Christian Democrat Group who still support it will not go along with that, but will support our amendment. We have two lines on the plight of 150 million migrant workers – more than 10% of China’s population, one sentence on free trade unions and yet there are five paragraphs on a religious minority that is a hundred times smaller. The trouble is that Mr Belder cannot see the wood for the trees. Yes, of course, we need to stand up for all the oppressed groups, but where is the rapporteur’s sense of proportion? Equally, it is right to believe some of the bad things we are told about China, but it is not right to believe of them, without the evidence necessary. There are areas in which we tread very much on the Committee on International Trade’s territory, but the report takes a much more protectionist line than that committee’s recent report. The question of market economy status is dismissed very easily, yet 40 countries in the world have already granted market economy status to China – most recently the Republic of Korea in November 2005. I respect the European Parliament’s view on the embargo, but here we are insisting that all our partnership countries follow an embargo that puts China in the same situation as Burma and Zimbabwe – which I consider personally to be rather worse in terms of their oppression and discrimination – while, at the same time, asking the Chinese to assist us in putting pressure on those two countries that we say are exactly the same as China. In paragraph 4, we note that China will have at its disposal EUR 1 billion in farm reserves by the end of 2006. The accuracy of the report is fine; it is only one thousand times wrong: it is actually a trillion and not a billion and yet nobody has noticed; yet this is a wonderfully accurate report that everybody is endorsing. Nowhere do we complain that China holds too few euros – rather than dollars – or say that China should continue to work with the European Union on the six-party talks. We do not mention the fact that China’s concern about the Yasukuni Shrine is reflected in the recently revealed fact that the Japanese Emperor refused to visit it once class-A war criminals were included there. Finally, as the Commissioner said, we want engagement and partnership, not confrontation and containment. I am afraid the wrong message comes from this report."@en1

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