China: Human Rights

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:57 pm on 6th February 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Soley Lord Soley Labour 2:57 pm, 6th February 2006

My Lords, does the Minister take comfort from a visit that was made to this country by a number of senior Chinese government figures about three or four years ago? They asked me whether I was optimistic or pessimistic for the future of China. I said that I was optimistic for the economy, hopeful for the rule of law but worried about the ability to change governments and deal with human rights without difficulty. Their answer to me was commendably honest. They said, "You might be worried, but not as worried as we are".

As the Minister says, the reality is that China is moving, sometimes in the right direction, sometimes—as the noble Lord, Lord Alton, indicated—very much in the wrong direction . It is our job to try to encourage China down the right route while bringing to its attention the failings that are still manifest.