DOI link for 2000–2002
This chapter explores how the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue evolved during the years 2000 to 2002 and how the EU positioned itself vis-a-vis a UN resolution on China during the same period. The arrest of democracy activists in the years 1998 and 1999 and a crackdown on the Falun Gong movement in late 1999 undermined the legitimacy of the EU's strategy of quiet diplomacy not only in the eyes of many external observers, but also for influential decision-makers in the European Union. The controversial debate on the merits of the EU's human rights diplomacy vis-a-vis China climaxed ahead of the 2000 session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. The Chinese MFA took the threat of a resolution very seriously and, in turn, took steps to influence European decision-makers. The Council of the European Union also expressed deep concern over China's continuing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, notably freedom of assembly, expression and association.