IN SHORT

Hrušovský talks tough to Chinese PM

DURING the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wien Jiabao to Slovakia, the Chinese delegation met three Slovak officials including Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, President Ivan Gašparovič and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský. Only Hrušovský brought up the issue of human rights.

According to the SME daily, Hrušovský and Jiabao spoke for around 40 minutes. During the discussion Hrušovský acknowledged the progress China was making but noted "we still have information that not all human rights are being observed and there is great tension over religious freedoms".

Jiabao responded that for 2,000 years now human beings and their welfare have had the highest priority in China.

The conversation ended with Hrušovský saying he appreciated the assurance that China would try to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as soon as possible.

According to Hrušovský's spokesman, Michal Dyttert, Jiabao was not disconcerted by the topic of human rights, but tension was apparent in the Chinese delegation, all of whom, except for the PM, allegedly hung their heads when the topic was raised.

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