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Australia China Human Rights Dialogue

PRESS STATEMENT
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer

An expanded Chinese delegation will attend the fourth round of the Australia China Human Rights Dialogue to be held in Australia 14-17 August. Participation will increase from five Chinese ministries in 1998, the last time the talks were held in Australia, to nine ministries and agencies this year. The Chinese delegation will be led by a senior Foreign Ministry official, Vice Minister Yang Jiechi.

I will open the formal session of the dialogue on the evening of 15 August and the meeting itself will be held on 16 August.

The meeting is expected to cover a large number of human rights issues and concerns. The two sides will also decide on activities to be conducted under the Human Rights Technical Assistance Program.

As well as attending the main meeting, the Chinese delegation will visit various organisations in Sydney and Canberra including the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, the Police Integrity Commission, the Australian Broadcasting Authority, a juvenile detention centre and a centre for indigenous education. They will also meet the Joint Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and attend Question Time in the House of Representatives.

The Australian delegation will be led by DFAT Deputy Secretary Miles Kupa and include the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission President, Professor Alice Tay, parliamentarians Dr Andrew Southcott MP (Liberal Party), Senator Vicki Bourne (Democrats) and Mrs De-Anne Kelly MP (National Party) as well as officials from relevant government departments.

The Chinese delegation will include representatives from the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Justice (Prison Administration Bureau), the Law Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People's Congress and the All China Women's Federation.

See also www.australia.org.nz

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