November 27, 2008
Leader of ALDE Graham Watson, and MEP Marco Capatto criticize Beijing’s decision to cancel meeting EU representatives.
Below is an article published by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE):
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) is astonished and appalled to learn about the Chinese government's decision to cancel the EU-China Summit, scheduled to take place in Lyon, France on 1st December . The Chinese government pretends it took this decision due to the planned meeting between the current President of the EU Council, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Dalai Lama, due to take place on December 6th in Warsaw.
Marco Cappato (Radicali, Italy) stated: "We consider such a decision to be worrying and dangerous. Worrying because by refusing to take into consideration the EU's attachment to democratic values and the rule of law, China has shown that it does not respect its European partner's identity. Dangerous because the entire European Union shares the point of view of the EU Council President, who upholds the Dalai Lama as an honourable person who ought to be received. The European Parliament also intends to invite the Dalai Lama to visit this House on 4th December . Only time will tell whether it is the intention of Beijing to boycott all the democratic Institutions of the European Union."
"Moreover, this decision confirms that the Chinese leadership, having boycotted the negotiations with the Tibetan representatives, is not yet willing to engage in real dialogue. The Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize. Rather than restricting itself to an outdated vision of international relations, China would be well-advised to concede that democracy, the rule of law and Human Rights - including minority rights - are universal values. It should realise that the European Union will never abandon those values," M. Cappato concluded.