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Wen's visit Aust.: Dollars before human rights

Premier Wen's visit: Dollars before human rights and global security

The warm welcome being extended by the Howard government to Premier Wen representing the Chinese communist military dictatorship in Beijing demonstrates that the Howard government continues to put dollars before human rights and global security, the Australian Greens said today.

"The Howard government's attempt to separate economics from human rights and global security is not only disgraceful but impossible in a globalised world," Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne said today in Canberra.

"Make no mistake - selling Australian uranium to China will make the world less safe.

"The Chinese military dictatorship tolerates no dissent. Whistleblowers have no protection, political executions are regular, and global conventions are treated with contempt.

"Yet Prime Minister John Howard is prepared to trust this nuclear weapons regime with Australian uranium.

"Will the Australian government turn the same blind eye to the tracking of uranium through the Chinese nuclear fuel cycle as it turned to the Australian Wheat Board's and BHP Billiton's dealings with Saddam Hussein's regime?

"As Premier Wen begins talks with the Australian government I call on
Prime Minister Howard to seek Premier Wen's agreement for the Dalai Lama to make a spiritual journey to Tibet and for religious and human rights and freedoms to be extended to the Falun Gong and to the democracy movement in China.

"Furthermore, I call on Prime Minister Howard to obtain a guarantee from Premier Wen that every processing facility that uses Australian yellowcake, including conversion, enrichment and processing, will all be 'declared facilities' and will be permanently open for inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency."

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