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DEMOCRACY
China condemns British rights report and cancels talks
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) April 15, 2014


China expressed anger at Britain Tuesday for a report criticising its human rights record, a day after London said Beijing called off a dialogue between the countries on the issue.

China was last week listed as one of 28 "Countries of Concern" in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) Human Rights Report, which said "civil and political rights remain subject to significant restrictions" in the country.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "In this report they made irresponsible remarks on China's political system and slandered and criticised China's human rights condition."

"This behaviour by Britain does no good to the dialogue and exchanges between the two countries in the human rights area," she said.

The FCO said on Monday a scheduled dialogue between the two countries on human rights issues had been cancelled by Beijing.

An FCO spokesman said: "We are disappointed that the Chinese government last week unilaterally postponed the Dialogue, which was due to take place on 16 April."

The two countries agreed to hold regular talks on human rights during a visit by British Prime Minister David Cameron to China in December.

The resumption of regular talks was touted as one of the key successes of the visit after Britain experienced a diplomatic deep freeze following Cameron's meeting with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in 2012.

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