Saturday, June 16, 2007

Prime Minister's Comments on China at G-8

G8 summit ends in finger pointing
Andrew Mayeda, CanWest News Service
Published: Friday, June 08, 2007

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On the final day of the three-day summit, Harper also met with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Afterwards, he warned that, as China's power grows, the country will come under "increasing pressure" from the international community on issues such as democracy and human rights.
"As it grows in importance and wealth, it will face increasing pressure from the world community on issues of democratic development and human rights, on issues like climate change and environmental protection, and on issues of corporate social responsibility, in particular the responsibilities of Chinese enterprises and commercial activities in the Third World," Harper warned.
China is not a member of the G8 but, as a major developing country, it was invited to attend, along with India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
Harper reported from his bilateral meeting that he emphasized the need to "grow and deepen" the ties between the two countries, but that did not stop him "from aggressively and appropriately raising very legitimate concerns."
Next year's summer Olympics in Beijing will be a test of China's standing on the world stage, predicted Harper.
"When you open your country to the world that way and ask every television camera in the world to come in, I think it would be in your own self-interest to make that image as positive as it can be."
In Ottawa, China's ambassador to Canada, Lu Shumin, said his government is open to continuing a dialogue with Canadian officials to discuss human rights. "I still believe the relations between China and Canada are basically moving forward," Lu told a news conference.
Harper's remarks in Germany came a day after he reproached fellow G8 leader Vladimir Putin for being unwilling to accept criticism about democratic reform and human rights in Russia.
The prime minister also ruffled feathers in Beijing last fall when he pressed China on its human-rights record. He vowed that Canada would not "sell out" its beliefs in democracy, freedom and human rights to the "almighty dollar."

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