Activists call on Lithuanian president to point to rights violations in China
"Foreign policy and relations with other countries should start from human rights, and only then trade and other issues should be discussed," Robertas Mažeika, a representative of the Tibet support group, said in a statement.
In his words, a short-sighted way of thinking, focusing only on economic things and ignoring obvious human rights violations by the Chinese regime and repressions against Tibetan and Uyghur ethnic minorities, makes us accomplices of the criminal action of Chinese officials.
"We close our eyes on this country's violations of international human rights and this way we acknowledge ourselves that we let China violate those agreements," the Tibetan supporter said.
"Ignoring the gulags in China, the re-education camps for political prisoners and the state's latest-technology-based surveillance of its citizens can have dramatic consequences for us in the long run as we might suddenly realize that we also have such gulags," Mažeika said.
Human rights activists are on Friday holding a symbolic farewell ceremony for the Lithuanian president outside the Presidential Palace.
Grybauskaitė is on Friday leaving for Shanghai as China is inviting Europe to established closer ties as a counterbalance to the United States' protectionist policy.
The Lithuanian leader is scheduled to meet with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and attend China's first imports exhibition. With this exhibition, China is trying to soften criticism that it blocks foreign companies from its internal market.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, besides the Lithuanian president, leaders of the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Kenya, Croatia, Cuba, the Cook Islands Laos, Malta, Pakistan, Panama, Russia, Salvador, Switzerland, Hungary and Vietnam will come to Shanghai.