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China: Family Planning

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have had with the Government of China since 2006 about the Population and Birth-planning Law 2002; and if he will make a statement. (201934)

We regularly raise our concerns with the Chinese Government about the implementation of China's population and family planning law. The Chinese Government acknowledges that there have been problems with administration of the policy, but insists this would be down to individuals rather than malign intent. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials discussed the One Child Policy 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.

A more detailed survey of all the exchanges between UK Ministers and officials with Chinese authorities from 2006 would require a search of files held centrally and at all posts in China, which could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have had with the Government of China since 2006 about the implementation in Tibet of the Population and Birth-planning Law 2002; and if he will make a statement. (201935)

We have not discussed the implementation of China's population and family planning law with the Chinese Government with specific reference to Tibet. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials did however discuss the One Child Policy during the recent round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in Beijing in January. The main theme of the dialogue was ethnic minority rights and included a field trip to Tibet. 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.

A more detailed survey of all the exchanges between UK Ministers and officials with Chinese authorities from 2006 would require a search of files held centrally and at all posts in China, which could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.