Brussels, October 20 - The European Union and China held the 22nd round of the EU-China dialogue on human rights in Beijing on Thursday.
During the dialogue, senior officials from both sides discussed a wide range of human rights issues. Special attention was given to questions related to combating racism, freedom of expression and reform of the criminal justice system in China, said a statement Friday by the current Finnish EU Presidency.
The EU expressed its "deep concern over the continuing restrictions on freedom of expression in China, including on the use of the internet."
The EU further expressed "concern on the high number of human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists in prison and urged China not to harass or punish individuals exercising their right to freedom of expression in a peaceful manner."
Other subjects discussed included the recent incident on China's border with Nepal, where Chinese soldiers opened fire towards a group of Tibetans attempting to cross the border. The EU asked for clarification and urged China to investigate the incident thoroughly.
The next round of the EU-China human rights dialogue will take place under the German EU Presidency in spring 2007.