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Volume 453: debated on Monday 20 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will discuss future relations with Africa with the Chinese government, with particular reference to reducing the arms trade with Africa. (101431)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with the Chinese Government on the full range of international issues, including Africa and the arms trade. This dialogue includes working with China as it seeks to improve its export controls and encouraging China to support work towards an arms trade treaty which would end the irresponsible trade in conventional arms. We are actively seeking to broaden and deepen our dialogue with China on issues relevant to Africa, both bilaterally and together with EU partners. For example, the EU/China summit in September agreed to a structured dialogue on Africa that we hope will begin soon. Key themes for this enhanced dialogue will be how the EU and China can work in ways which reinforce the principles for poverty reduction and sustainable development identified by the African Union and the New Partnership for Africa's Development: peace, security, democracy, good governance, human rights and sound economic management.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Chinese authorities on recent incidents in Tibet. (101432)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1906W. The Chinese Government have promised to provide the EU with further information regarding the incident on 30 September. We expect the information to be forthcoming in December. We will await this information before making further representation, either bilaterally or through the EU.