Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

China can learn from our mistakes

The Independent - October 20th 2005

Sir

China's spectacular growth is as much a threat to the Communist Party as to the environment. The government's determination to maintain an iron grip on the lives of its citizens is increasingly incompatible with their growing prosperity.

Two Chinese defectors - a former diplomat and an ex-intelligence officer - visited the European Parliament this week to lift the lid further on the country's suppression of freedoms we take for granted. Their testimony was a stark reminder of the true nature of China's one-party dictatorship and our moral imperative to expose the government's many oppressive policies.

Economic prosperity and political liberty go hand in hand. Whether China grudgingly accepts this lesson from history or ignores it remains to be seen. But I fear many millions of Chinese, both those within the country and those who have fled abroad, will have to suffer more before they see their resistance vindicated.

Dr Charles Tannock MEP
Conservative Foreign Affairs Spokesman, European Parliament, Brussels