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China: Family Planning

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he discussed (a) the Chinese One Child Policy and (b) forced abortion with the authorities during his visit to China; and if he will make a statement. (190868)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary did not discuss the One Child Policy or forced abortions with Chinese authorities during his visit. He did, however, discuss the overall human rights situation with Foreign Minister Yang.

The One Child Policy was discussed during the recent round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing in January. We do not dispute China’s right or need to implement family planning policies, but we do believe they should be based on the principles of consent and not coercion. We will continue to encourage the Chinese to meet international human rights standards at every appropriate opportunity, both bilaterally and through the EU.