Respect for and observance of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, in China remain very high on the EU’s political agenda. The EU has expressed its serious concerns about the deterioration of the human rights situation in China on multiple occasions, including at the highest political level, and has taken concrete measures to demonstrate the seriousness of its commitment to human rights. These measures include the adoption of sanctions on 22 March 2021 and their prolongation on 6 December 2021 against four individuals and one entity responsible for serious human rights violations in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.
Furthermore, the EU continues to seize every opportunity in international fora, including the Human Rights Council, to call upon China to abide by its international human rights obligations, including as to freedom of religion or belief. All individuals, including Falun Gong’s adherents, must practise the religion or belief of their choice, free of any kind of coercion and fear.
Please be assured that the promotion and protection of human rights, including the free exercise of freedom of religion or belief, will continue to be an integral part of EU’s engagement with China, in line with the EU strategy on China.