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China, human rights and international relations 1


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China, human rights and international relations 1

  2. 2. The Structure  Role of Human rights in international relations  A brief history of human rights (and their violations) in china between 1949-1989.  Movement leading up to the event in the 80s.  China’s relationship with EU. A brief history.  The event and its coverage in western media.  Immediate reaction by the western nations.  The fall in EU-China relations.The arms embargo.  Arguments within the EU.
  3. 3. Generations of human rights  Civil and political rights  Economic, social and cultural rights  Groups rights  The liberal and realist states differ on the priorities to be given.  Universal declaration of human rights,Vienna convention.
  4. 4. Human rights in China before 1989.  The Great Leap Forward  The cultural revolution  The Hukou system  One child policy  Capital punishment  What led to the protests in 1989?
  5. 5. Hu Yaobang  Initially a Mao loyalist.  Was also a close associate of Deng Xiaoping.  Was instrumental in healing China after the cultural revolution.  Served as general secretary of the party between 1982-1987  Favored a more autonomousTibet.  Was sympathetic to the liberal intelligentsia in China. Lost favour within the party and was forced to resign.
  6. 6. The case of Zhao Zhiyang  One of the most important leaders responsible for the pro- democracy movement.  Was a close associate of Deng Xiaoping  Responsible for rapid economic reforms, first in Sichuan, then all over China.  Was himself a victim of the cultural revolution  Believed that economic growth was linked to democratization.  Proposed a separation of the party and state.  Was the general secretary of the party between 87 and 89.  Were the free-est years in the history of contemporary china.  Was involved in theTiananmen square protests.
  7. 7. The Tiananmen square protests  Started brewing since the death of HuYaobang  Students from various universities decided to protest against the forced resignation and mourn his death.  Students assembled at theTiananmen square in groups of increasing sizes starting from April.  Angered by the remark made in People’s Daily.  Martial Law declared by May 20.
  8. 8. The response by the party  After the martial law was introduced, the army started making attempts to enter the city.  The 27th and the 28th units from outside Beijing were employed.  On June 4th, the PLA opened fire on the crowds standing at the square and within minutes hundreds were killed.  Tanks were used in the crushing of the protests.The tanks literally crushed people by treading over the bodies.  Protestors tried to fight against the army.  There were blockades around the square and it was as if the army was looking to maximize deaths.
  9. 9. Media Coverage  The protests were very well covered by national media initially and the news of protest spread like wildfire.  There were mini protests in hundreds of cities and students travelled to Beijing to participate.  Mikhail Gorbachev’s visit.  Hundreds of foreign journalists present at the square.  One of the first events to be covered in such minute detail.  TheTank Man. One of the 100 most influential people of the world-TheTime.
  10. 10. Reaction by the west  Shocked at the audacity with which the protests were crushed.  Were largely perceived as a statement by the Communist party against democracy.  A boost to the anti-communist paranoia.  India asked the press to keep the coverage to bare-minimum.  The E.U. cancelled all loans and deals and issued an embargo against arms trade with China.  Influenced public opinion.
  11. 11. China and European Union  Relationship established in 1975, although Sweden had established relations in 1950.  Signed aTrade and EconomicCooperation agreement in 1985.  Immediately after the 4th June violence, some members EU froze all relations.  12 EU members meet on June 27th to adopt a declaration, with wide ranging measures againstChina.  After a phase of full isolation from world community, China’s economic and political significance made EU establish contacts once again.  In October 1990, the European Council and Parliament decided to gradually re-establish bilateral links with China.
  12. 12. Arms Embargo  Issued in June 1989, only EU embargo adopted before Maastricht Treaty was signed in 1992.  Different interpretations by different countries.  To deny China the capability to be able challenge US superiority in region, to prevent an arms race and to deter China from adopting a belligerent position onTaiwan.  Japan has also pressurized EU to maintain the embargo.  US has a interest in maintaining stability in the region, while EU does not. But EU is involved in strategic relationship with US through NATO.  China does not connectTaiwan question with the EU Relations.  The initial purpose of addressing the violent repression of the pro- democracy movement has broadened into improving human rights in China.The purpose of the embargo keeps shifting and expanding.
  13. 13. Debates on the Embargo  Imposing an embargo on a strategic partner was seen by many in China and within the EU as an anomaly.  France, Germany and Italy make moves for lifting the embargo in 2003.  US objected to the process.  Formal willingness along with ‘Toolbox’.  In March 2005, the Chinese People’s Congress adopted the “anti-secession law”.  In April 2005, the European Parliament, by 431 votes in favour to 85 votes against, decided not to support a lifting.  China was asked to satisfy three conditions for withdrawal of embargo.  Human rights situation in China was still a concern for the European Commission.  The embargo debate has been discreet.
  14. 14. Different Countries Different Views  France’s approach is that the EU arms embargo covers lethal military equipment and major weapon platforms.  The U.K. interprets the embargo as merely including “lethal weapons that are likely to be used for internal repression”.  Germany has included the embargo in its national legislation, which implies that exports of a purely military nature are strictly limited.  The Czech Republic does not permit exports of lethal weapons to China.  Sweden does not allow any exports of military equipment to the China.  Thus, contrary to what could be expected, EU countries’ arms exports to China have increased since the embargo was adopted in 1989.
  15. 15.  Predominantly trade relationships, with very formal bilateral security dialogs.  Bilateral trade was worth 370 billion euros in 2009.  Ambiguous situation on embargo,Tibetan riots and Xinjiang did not help either.  Arguments for removing the ban: It will help EU increase exports, is not considered an efficient instrument and China’s improved behavior (domestically and internationally). It will also improve competitive advantage of EU.  China wants its options to diversify, remove the US embargo, persuade EU not to sell weapons toTaiwan and to develop technology.  Arguments for keeping the ban: China has not improved, it should not be strengthened, sensitive technology might leak, Russia may increase supplies, Taiwan and other factors, China may re-export and EU may lose a political tool. China and European Union Today
  16. 16. References  Jerker Hellström :The EU Arms Embargo on  China: a Swedish Perspective.