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The New Zealand Government must put human rights firmly on the agenda during meetings with Chinese political leader Jia Qinglin, Green Party foreign affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said today.
China's fourth ranked leader, Jia Qinglin, is visiting New Zealand to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations. This afternoon he will visit Parliament to meet with senior Government ministers.
"In the last year, the Chinese Government has launched one of its harshest crackdowns on human rights activists in recent memory," said Dr Graham.
"In the wake of upheaval in the Middle East the Chinese Government has cracked down hard on internal human rights advocates.
"Artists and writers have faced detention and torture.
"New Zealand also needs to deliver a clear and unequivocal message that the human rights of minorities such as the Tibetan and Uighur people must be upheld."