EU President Urges China to Uphold Human Rights

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy addresses a news conference at the end of an European Union leaders summit in Brussels

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy on Tuesday urged China to bolster its international image by upholding human rights and the rule of law. 

He also said China's global reputation could be harmed by its negative record on human rights, although he made no direct mention of recent cases of repression, including the detention of artists and government critics.

Van Rompuy held discussions with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on topics ranging from trade to human rights and copyright protection.

“The upholding of universal human rights is 'of deep concern for European citizens, and it is reflected in our diplomacy across the world,” he was quoted as saying by DPA

“China's contribution to implementing the universal principles of human rights and rule of law will be an important element shaping its global public reputation,” Van Rompuy told members of China's ruling Communist Party.

Van Rompuy stressed the central importance of human rights in the EU's foreign policy and called on China to honour international rights covenants it has signed.

He did not mention the crackdown directly, but indicated China's global image could suffer from its actions.

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