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Merkel to raise human-rights issue in Beijing
DPA[Thursday, October 23, 2008 19:16]

Berlin - Chancellor Angela Merkel is to raise human-rights issues when she speaks to Chinese leaders, one of her spokesman said Wednesday before she departed for Beijing.

Deputy spokesman Thomas Steg said meetings with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao as well as with civic groups would offer an occasion to do so.

'She'll bring it up,' he said.

The trip to attend the ASEM summit between European and Asian nations will be Merkel's third to China as chancellor.

Ruprecht Polenz, a foreign-affairs spokesmen for Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said China-Germany relations were back to normal after Beijing's displeasure at Merkel meeting in her office last year with the Dalai Lama.

Polenz, who chairs the parliamentary committee on foreign policy, said, 'Human rights remain a problem issue.' He called on Beijing to grant greater autonomy to Tibet, the Dalai Lama's homeland.

Merkel was set to be in China from Thursday till Saturday.
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