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On 8-9 December 2014, the European Union and the People's Republic of China held the 33rd round of the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights in Brussels. The EU delegation was led by Gerhard Sabathil, Director for East Asia and the Pacific in the European External Action Service. The Chinese delegation was led by Li Junhua, Director General for International Organisations and Conferences, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
The Dialogue allowed the two sides to have a detailed exchange of views on a wide range of human rights issues, with a specific focus on recent developments in China, such as the right to adequate housing and reform of the Hukou system, the rights of persons belonging to minorities, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang, freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression (off-line and on-line), freedom of peaceful assembly and association, the due process of law, arbitrary detention, and the death penalty. Individual cases were raised in the context of the discussion about China's human rights situation, including those of Liu Xiabo, Ilham Tohti, Gao Yu, Hada, Pu Zhiqiang, Xu Zhiyong, Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Gao Zhisheng.
The exchange about recent developments in the European Union focussed on the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, combating discrimination, racism, xenophobia and incitement to racial hatred, as well as the EU's Roma strategy. Cooperation in international fora and the implementation of recommendations from international bodies were also discussed, and, in that context, the UN Human Rights Committee's letter concerning its recommendation regarding the ICCPR provision on the right to vote and the right to stand for elections and its application to Hong Kong. Two further issues specific to this dialogue were discussed: women's rights and technical cooperation.
During a joint press conference, the two co-chairs answered European and Chinese correspondents' questions about the dialogue. A meeting with EU Special Representative Lambrinidis was also organised on 8 December.
The Human Rights Dialogue was followed by a meeting with civil society experts on domestic violence, facilitated by the Belgian women's association Amazone, and was completed by a visit to Molenbeek's communal service for assistance to victims and Brussels main police station, where the delegations were briefed on how complaints of domestic violence are dealt with.