Dear European Friends of Falun Gong,
Thank you for your letter of 31st January 2004.
I am aware of the Chinese government’s policy on persecuting the practitioners of Falun Gong. My colleagues and I have made representations to the Chinese authorities regarding this issue on a number of occasions and I also raised it myself when I visited Beijing on a British Council sponsored visit eighteen months ago.
I am therefore particularly disappointed to see that the French government appear to be seeking to curry favour with the Chinese authorities by the actions to which you have referred concerning the Chinese New Year parade.
This letter is merely to confirm that following receipt of your letter my colleagues and I made representations to the French authorities. I regret that these representations have not been sufficiently timely to make a difference this year, and regret that we were unaware of the action proposed by the French government until recently. You may be assured that we will continue to make our representations to the authorities to urge them to desist from this discrimination.
Thank you for letting me have your observations regarding this matter.
Jonathan Evans MEP
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