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China, Norway hold dialogue on human rights, rule of law

Originally published by Daily mail News, 30 June 2010

BEIJING—China has vowed to continue to develop its human rights dialogue with Norway after the two nations concluded their 13th annual Roundtable on Human Rights and the Rule of Law here Tuesday.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin briefed Norwegian representatives on Chinese achievements in improving people’s livelihoods, reinforcing democracy, and constructing legal systems. The human rights roundtable between China and Norway is a model for countries with different social systems and from different civilizations to conduct equal and friendly dialogue, Liu said.

China hopes to strengthen dialogue and exchange with other countries on human rights issues on the basis of equality and mutual respect to increase understanding, expand agreement and jointly promote the healthy development of human rights internationally.

Norwegian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Gry Larsen spoke highly of China’s remarkable achievements with human rights, saying the two nations have conducted stable and effective cooperation in the field of human rights.

The Norway-China roundtable has served as a helpful platform for the two nations to discuss human rights issues and is conducive to the growth of bilateral ties, he said. Larsen said Norway will work with China to further promote the roundtable.

During the two-day roundtable, nearly 70 officials and scholars from the two sides exchanged views on the rights of workers, prisoners and minorities. Liu and Larsen also discussed human rights, covering such topics as freedom of speech, the rights of minorities and the role of non-governmental organizations.

China and Norway started discussing human rights issues in an informal setting in 1993. In 1997 the first formal Roundtable on Human Rights and the Rule of Law was held.

Baoji City Government has become the third local authority after Xi’an and Xianyang in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province to be penalized by the provincial environment regulator in almost half a year, after the density of pollutants in the Weihe River topped the upper limits.The fine of 200,000 yuan was imposed on Baoji in late May after monthly checks by Shaanxi Provincial Environmental Protection Department (SPEPD) showed excessive chemical oxygen demand (COD) in local waterways in February and April.—Xinhua

The annual stocktake of New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry predicts that a China-fuelled boom in commodity prices will continue, lifting export value in most primary industries next year except grains and seeds, and lamb and venison, Radio New Zealand reported on Tuesday.—Xinhua