German minister urges China to ensure human rights
DW[Monday, July 28, 2008 08:50]
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged Beijing to do more to ensure the rights of its minorities, human rights and fundamental freedoms. Writing in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Steinmeier said Beijing's hosting of next month's Olympics would see "a big opening up of China".

He said the country must "respond to its growing responsibility", adding that all ethnic groups must have a share in the development of this multicultural nation.

Steinmeier's opinion piece is set to be published on Monday. China's human rights record has come under increasing scrutiny in the run-up to the Games, with its global Olympic flame procession interrupted by pro-Tibet demonstrators in the United States, Britain and France. Germany, China's biggest trading partner in Europe, upset Beijing last September when Chancellor Angela Merkel met Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

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