Dear Ms. Lippmann,
Canada began bilateral human rights dialogues with China in 1997. The most recent dialogue was held in the fall of 2005. The same year the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs commissioned me to do an assessment report of the Dialogue. My report entitled “Assessment of the Canada-China Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue” was released by the Department of Foreign Affairs in May 2006. It is available in English at this URL:
and in French at this URL:
My report received quite a lot of publicity in the national media in Canada. An article about this report published on page A1 of the Globe and Mail on June 16, 2006 entitled “Rights dialogue in China blasted as futile: Canadian deplores empty annual ritual.” can be found at http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~cburton/Rights%20Dialogue.htm. An editorial about this in the same paper on page A24 entitled “China Isn’t Listening” can be found at http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~cburton/China%20Isnt%20Listening.htm. There is a lot more relevant information on my webpage: http://spartan.ac.brocku.ca/~cburton/
The Canadian House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights began hearings on my Report and related matters about human rights in China last fall. They have held 8 sessions about this so far. These can be see at:
http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteeList.aspx?Lang=1&PARLSES=391&JNT=0&SELID=e22_.2&STAC=1728265 The Subcommittee will release a report to Parliament shortly, possibly as soon as next week. The content of that report will presumably dictate if the Dialogue with China will resume and if so in what form. And if not what the new Canadian approach will be.