On the occasion of the change of leadership in China, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, Markus Löning, issued the following statement today (21 November):
“A few days ago, the Communist Party of China picked its new leaders. Outgoing President Hu Jintao named as major challenges the boosting of economic growth and doing away with the serious imbalances in society. At the same time he admitted that reforms were necessary in the face of corruption and abuse of power.
The new leaders will have to be judged not least by their respect of human rights. This includes progress on the way dissidents, human rights activists and minorities are treated.
I support the statement issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the situation in Tibet, where self-immolation continues to occur. By admitting international observers and following a policy of détente to address the causes for profound discontent in Tibet, China would send an important message to the effect that it will pursue a more humane approach.”