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China

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Chinese government about emissions from underground coalmine fires. (99318)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary met Foreign Minister Li in September and underlined the importance of UK-China partnership on the challenges of achieving climate and energy security. She did not address specifically emissions from underground coal fire, but she did address how to meet China’s energy efficiency and security interests. Discussions were focussed on how to reduce CO2 emissions through the deployment of clean technology for burning coal, such as carbon capture and storage and the UK funded initiative to demonstrate near zero emissions coal in China.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Government of China concerning the use of the death penalty; and what response has been received. (99676)

We continue to press the Chinese Government to reduce the number of crimes that carry the death penalty and to improve transparency on the number of people executed in China, which remains a state secret. My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor raised the death penalty with the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference on 24 October. We also raised this issue at the last round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in July. We welcome the announcement that China’s Supreme People’s Court will take back the power of review of death sentences from 1 January 2007, which we hope will reduce the number of sentences carried out.