L-R: Hongbo Wu, China's Special Representative for European Affairs; Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign & European Affairs; Credit: MAEE

On Wednesday 24 November 2021, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, received the Chinese government's Special Representative for European Affairs, Hongbo Wu, for a working meeting in the Grand Duchy.

The meeting provided an update on bilateral relations between Luxembourg and the People's Republic of China as well as their development prospects in a post-COVID-19 context. Recalling that China is Luxembourg's second largest trading partner outside the European Union (EU), Minister Asselborn spoke of ways to strengthen economic exchanges between the two countries. In this context, Minister Asselborn and Special Representative Wu welcomed the good Sino-Luxembourg relations, particularly in the financial, industrial and scientific sectors, as well as in the cultural field.

Subsequently, Minister Asselborn and Special Representative Wu discussed bilateral relations between the EU and China. Regarding the Comprehensive Agreement on Investments (CAI) between the EU and China, Minister Asselborn recalled that it will not be possible for the EU and its member states to continue negotiations as long as the Chinese sanctions against parliamentarians and European bodies remain in place. In this context, the head of Luxembourg's diplomacy expressed his concerns about recent developments in China in terms of respect for human rights and more particularly in the Xinjiang region.

The minister encouraged the Chinese authorities to allow the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to visit the region of the Uyghur people in China.

He also called on the Chinese authorities to take all measures to shed light on the allegations of sexual abuse against tennis player Peng Shuai.

The exchange provided an opportunity to take stock of the situation in Afghanistan and the means to come to the aid of the Afghan people, not only in response to the deep humanitarian crisis in the country but also to defend the human rights of women and girls.

Finally, Minister Asselborn reaffirmed the "One-China policy".