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Year II Number 7 - November 8th, 2004
China: ¿business or human rights?
In its relationship with China, Kirchner’s government seems to be decided to apply a sort of pinochetist pragmatism: “economic openning is welcome, leaving aside the great internal repression”. And is curious that this is the foreign policy of a “progressist” government that ensures to have human rights as a priority.
By Gabriel C. Salvia

To the closing edition of this Document there were circulating several versions of an important commercial agreement of Argentina with China, in eves to an official visit of the authorities of the Asian country - in the middle of November – in their way to a meeting in Chile. This will be a new opportunity for President Néstor Kirchner to include the human rights in his foreign politics and not limit them only to the domestic concerns, attending in this case to the request that the Association of Falun Dafa’s Studies in Argentina requested last June 22 on the occasion of his trip to China:
“…we wanted to call again your attention to what is going on today in the above mentioned country and we hope that in your visit there could be a mention of the important topic of the respect to human rights... the regime of China mixes economic benefits with political pressures to quiet the countries with which it supports commercial relations. To the contrary, Argentina and other countries of the region that suffered awful dictatorships should be more solidary with those who suffer from oppressive regimes.

In this regard, a United Nations report that analyzes the persecution to Falun Dafa, stated: “Everyone who has worked for human rights causes knows that the first and most difficult step in ending systematic violations is to expose the evil. Falun Gong practitioners in China have courageously taken this first step; isn’t it upon our conscience to come to their defense, so that their sacrifices shall not have been in vain?”. The relation of Argentina and some countries of the region with the Chinese dictatorship reflects the low democratic commitment in foreign policy and another indicator of the underdevelopment in Latin America.

Gabriel Salvia is the General Director of the Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America. He is member of the Editorial Council of the Magazine Perspectiva - Revista Latinoamericana de Política, Economía y Sociedad. He is the editor of the publication “Burocratómetro”, and author of the reports “Congreso y gasto público en Argentina” (CADAL), He is author of the selection and the prologue of the book “Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas y el proyecto Varela. La lucha pacífica por la democracia en Cuba” (CADAL/Konrad Adenauer Stiftung).

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