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Beijing cancels talks with London after Foreign Office report on China rights situation

April 15, 2014, 20:59 UTC+3 LONDON
China was described as “a country of concern” in an annual Foreign Office human rights report presented April 10 in the British capital
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© AP Photo/Ed Jones, Pool

LONDON, April 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Beijing has canceled talks on human rights with London after the British Foreign Office published a report on the situation with human rights in China.

“We are disappointed that the Chinese government unilaterally postponed the dialogue, which was due to take place on April 16,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. “It is not for us to say why it was postponed. We are now in discussion to agree on new dates for the dialogue.”

China was described as “a country of concern” in an annual Foreign Office human rights report presented April 10 in the British capital.

Two-day talks on human rights were to resume Wednesday in London. Beijing and London had agreed to resume regular meetings in December during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to China.

ITAR-TASS correspondent in Beijing Alexei Selishchev quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying as saying that “dialogue between states should be carried out on the basis of principles of equality and mutual respect”.

Hua noted that the report contained “irresponsible statements regarding China’s political system, and the situation in the sphere of human rights protection in the Celestial Empire was subjected to groundless criticism”.

“This is the reason why China expresses strong discontent and protest. The British side should immediately stop attempts to interfere in China’s domestic policy with the alleged aim of human rights protection,” Hua said.

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