Wei Jingsheng Speaks at the European Parliament to the ALDE Group about Chinese Human Rights Issues: The Death Penalty, Arms Embargo, and Beijing Olympics
The chairman of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, Mr. Wei Jingsheng, was invited by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) group of the European Parliament to attend its conference from December 6 to 7, 2007. He also attended a luncheon as the VIP guest at the European Parliament Members' Restaurant hosted by its European Parliament members.
The organizer at the European Parliament, Marco Cappato, member of the Parliament, told the audience that the Chinese government called all of their Parliament members in an effort to prevent Wei Jingsheng’s participation.
In his speech, Wei Jingsheng said that the group's effort to establish a moratorium on the death penalty, in particular by the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, not only received attention in the United Nations, but also had very important effects in China where 90% of the world's executions take in place. The Chinese government's Supreme Court has already decided on resumption of the right to review all death penalty decisions made by lower courts, and has informed the lower courts to reduce the number of death penalties. These actions indicate that although the dictatorial government could be playing games orally, it will quietly reduce its bad actions when there is strong international pressure. The human rights pressure from the international society has its important effect in pushing forward the human rights progress in China.
Wei Jingsheng also said that the huge trade deficit between Europe and China could not be compensated for by the 30 billion Euros worth order that France received from China. More European enterprises have lost their business, and more European workers have lost their jobs. These losses are not because the European business is not competitive, but due to unfair trade relationships and cheap labor. Why is there cheap labor? Because the Chinese workers do not have the rights to demand rightful wages. Why is there unfair trade? Because the Chinese government monopolizes the market. These problems are part of the Chinese human rights issue. So paying attention to Chinese human rights is paying attention on Europeans' own interests as well.
Wei Jingsheng also talked about what people have been talking about France recently, after it received the 30 Billion Euros' order -- that France is trying to persuade other nations of the European Union to lift the arms embargo against the Chinese Communists. Wei said that it is a huge matter related to standards of value, as well as security, that it should not be used to trade politically. The security of Asia is tied to the security of the globe. Should a major war break out in Asia, the security of Europe would be directly threatened. The uprising of Russian extreme nationalism, as well as the massive export of Russia's advanced weapons and technology, are all for the final goal to resume its traditional control over the East Europe. The Europeans should pay attention to this situation.
Near the end of conference, Wei Jingsheng also encouraged the attendees to continuously pay attention to Chinese human rights, especially during the time before Beijing's Olympic Games. The Games offer the best opportunity to push for the progress of Chinese human rights.