REUTERS: Human Rights Overshadow EU-China Summit

By Adrian Croft
Wed, Sep 05 4:15 PM EDT

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union and Chinese leaders agreed on Wednesday to work together more closely on arms control and fighting illegal migration at a summit overshadowed by EU concern over China's human rights record.

Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium, the current EU president, said he had raised with Zhu the EU's concerns over China's human rights record.

"I have voiced my concern," he said, adding that he had highlighted China's treatment of minorities, especially religious minorities in Tibet and elsewhere.

On China's "strike hard" anti-crime campaign, he urged Beijing "not to lose sight of respect for human rights."
His comments echoed concerns expressed on the eve of the summit by human rights group Amnesty International, which warned of a "significant deterioration" in the human rights situation in China and urged EU leaders to raise the issue.

Amnesty said Chinese authorities had stepped up a crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement while the "strike hard" campaign had led to record numbers of executions.[...]

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