The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, this week, will be making his first official visit to France since becoming President to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationships between China and France.
Human rights groups have called upon the French President, Francois Hollande to speak to Xi about current human rights issues in China. Hollande is expected to set clearly France’s expectations that China needs to respect basic human rights.
Some issues have been raised which Hollande is expected to be particular about:
• Ask President Xi about specific cases of persecuted human rights defenders, including imprisoned 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia; Uighur economist Ilham Tohti; and lawyer Xu Zhiyong; and express concern about activist Cao Shunli, who died on in a Beijing hospital following her arbitrary detention in September 2013;
• Express concern about the deteriorating human rights situations for ethnic minorities, particularly in Tibet and
• talk about initiatives
undertaken since the beginning of Xi’s presidency to limit freedom of expression, especially for civil society, academics, and
If the critical issue of Human rights is not raised during President Xi’s visit, it would send a wrong signal to China and even other countries. So, France should serve as an Umpire for Human Rights issues in China.