Sunday, March 18, 2007

Correspondence with a Student on the Human Rights Dialogue

Dear XXX,

I have some information relevant to your questions on my website:
Click here for my report “Assessment of the Canada-China Bilateral Human Rights Dialogue” released by the Department of Foreign Affairs in May 2006. Click here for 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.” Click here for an editorial about this in the same paper on page A24 entitled “China Isn’t Listening.”

You can see from the introduction to my report that you are right to think that "China negotiated with other UN countries and offered a bilateral annual human rights meeting to prevent each country from voting in favour of UN action regarding human rights in China." Canada has "temporarily" suspended its dialogue pending the upcoming Parliamentary report on my report and other aspects of Canada's policy on human rights in China. I predict that other countries will likely follow Canada's lead in this regard and the dialogue process as currently constituted will collapse. After that I think we will decide to speak honestly in the UN about our perceptions of China's compliance with the UN human rights norm as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the associated UN covenants, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Then it will be incumbent on Canada and like-minded nations to do what we can, consistent with the norms of international diplomacy, to stand up for those denied social justice in China and to encourage a culture of democracy and rule of law there that will ensure the entitlements to human rights of all Chinese citizens. This would probably include more programming on a people-to-people basis as it is unrealistic expect the Government of China "under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party" to collaborate on such projects in a sincere way as their current system does not allow for effective protection of the rights of individual citizens. So the system that sustains the power of the ruling Communist Party élite would be transformed if ordinary Chinese were empowered with the rights of citizenship. But it is time for democracy in China. Not later, but as soon as possible.

Take care,


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