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China: Population

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the government of China about trends in China’s population since 2006; and if he will make a statement. (201936)

We have discussed China’s population mainly in terms of problems arising from the implementation of the One Child policy. We did this during the 16th 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 and Chinese authorities from 2006 would require a search of files held centrally and at all posts in China, which could only be achieved at disproportionate cost.