(Paris) – French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian should publicly urge respect for human rights in meetings with China’s new leadership, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Le Drian is visiting China for the first time as foreign minister from November 24 to 27, 2017.
“French President Emmanuel Macron has explicitly committed to promoting human rights in China along with diplomatic and economic concerns,” said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director. “Minister Le Drian’s visit is an important opportunity to publicly challenge the Chinese leadership over its rampant human rights violations.”
Human Rights Watch urged Le Drian to:
- Publicly call for the releases of political prisoners Liu Xia, Gao Zhisheng, Jiang Tianyong, and Wang Quanzhang;
- Express concerns about China’s increasing efforts to undermine international institutions that should help defend human rights, including the United Nations, Interpol, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB); and
- Announce a review of all bilateral law enforcement cooperation.
“France has long been a defender of fundamental rights and liberties worldwide,” Jeannerod said. “In the face of an unreceptive Chinese leadership, Minister Le Drian’s visit will be a test of France’s commitment.”