Köhler takes stock after China Visit

On his departure, German president Horst Köhler left a list with the names of human rights activists who are persecuted in China. Köhler had been on a state visit to the country, with talks in Beijing and a visit to the Shanghai Expo 2010. Liu Xia and Zeng Jinyan, the wives of Liu Xiaobo and Hu Jia, had asked Köhler to advocate their husbands’ release from prison.

“We will follow up what will be done about it,” dpa quoted Köhler on Thursday. On a previous visit to China, he had delivered a name list, too. There had been no reaction, “but we will keep doing it”. His talks had verified the good, but also difficult relationship between Germany and China.

“Everyone knows that we differ on certain issues, such as democracy or human rights, but we articulate it in a way the Chinese can handle and which are still effective.”

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