Search This Blog

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Engagement with China without conflicting human rights principle

While I was searching for the topic of the “erosion of justice in Taiwan”, I came across this post of Canada’s retired MP, Mr. David Kilgour (longest serving member of parliament prior to retirement, but now still a very active citizen), and had a chance to read his recent post called Coherence Needed in Canada-China Relations.

It is about forced labor in China, read the entire text if you care about human rights.  Next time when you go shopping, think about what’s behind the label “made in China” and your country’s unemployment situations.

The following are just a glimpse of the entire text:

“They told us of working in appalling conditions for up to sixteen hours daily with no pay, little food, being cramped together on the floor for sleeping and being tortured. They made export products, ranging from garments to chopsticks to Christmas decorations as subcontractors to multinational companies. This, of course, constitutes both gross corporate irresponsibility and violations of WTO rules.”

“There is a link between the involuntary labour done since 1999 by tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners in these camps and the resulting loss of manufacturing jobs in Canada and elsewhere. One estimate of the number of the camps across China as of 2005 was 340, having a capacity of about 300,000 inmates. In 2007, a US government report estimated that at least half of the inmates in the camps were Falun Gong.”

“Canada and other countries should ban forced labour exports.”

“If its government stops abuses of human rights and takes steps to indicate that it wishes to treat its trade partners in a mutually-beneficial way, the new century will bring harmony for China, its trading partners and neighbours.”

Refererence: Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 23 (3), and 24.

As a source of reference, I also reviewed the news of November 26th 2008 from the English Kathimerini.

“Greece and China were looking forward to flourishing trade links yesterday after President Hu Jintao finalized a major deal for the management of two container terminals at Piraeus, which prompted protests in central Athens by dockworkers.”

“Apart from serving as a hub for Chinese goods on their way to European markets, the government believes Piraeus will also be the place where products are tested and processed before they move on. The two countries have agreed to harmonize each other’s testing procedures. Cosco has suggested that it will bring in only two or three management personnel from China while it will create some 1,000 new jobs for locals.”

How do they harmonize each other’s testing procedures are of great concern to us because Greece, being one of the EU countries, must have the EU guidelines to follow, while China has its own guidelines, therefore how the harmonization  is done should be more transparent to our citizens in Greece.

Crossed posted at the Taiwanese Greek.

1 comment:

The Foreigner said...

BTW, Mr. Kilgour has also done a lot trying to reveal China's organ harvesting of Falun Gong adherents.

Post a Comment