Danes sponsor resolution criticizing Chinese human rights
China vows to retaliate
April 9, 1997
Web posted at: 8:09 p.m. EDT (0009 GMT)
(CNN) -- It has become an annual event for China to defeat a
United Nations resolution criticizing its policies toward
Tibet and human rights.
This year, China used its economic and diplomatic might to
create a rift in the 15-nation European Union.
On Tuesday, for the first time in seven years, the EU decided
not to introduce a resolution criticizing China for its human
rights policies after France led an effort against it.
Germany, Italy and Spain also withdrew support for the
measure after China threatened sanctions if it passed.
But Denmark isn't giving up the effort to highlight human
rights abuses in China. The Danes decided to present a
similar motion criticizing the Beijing government at a
meeting of the 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission in
Geneva, which concludes Thursday.
Danish officials say the measure is not intended to pick on
China. And they are not intimidated by China's threats to
retaliate by canceling trade agreements with Danish
"Putting forward a resolution is not sentencing a country,"
Danish Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen said. "China
can defend itself and openly reply to what is said in the
But the French, who want to keep relations with China
"This kind of condemnation is not helpful in the field of
human rights," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Yves
"During the past years, this resolution has not been voted by
the U.N. commissioner, so it is not helpful, and it has not
contributed to significant progress to the field of human
rights in China."
Even though the EU members failed to pass the resolution on
China, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is vowing to
strengthen the U.N.'s role in protecting human rights.
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