The Government are very concerned about the apparent hardening of Chinese policy on freedom of expression, including on journalists and in relation to the internet. We regularly raise these concerns with the Chinese Government and make clear our view that freedom of information is essential to the development of a modern, stable and sustainable society.
Freedom of expression was a particular focus of the May 2006 round of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue. The EU also made representations to the Chinese Government on this issue in Beijing on 27 June 2006. Several individual cases of concern were raised on both occasions and at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing on 3 July 2006. I will discuss media freedom issues with the Chinese Government and foreign correspondents during my forthcoming visit to China.