Zhu Calls for Cooperation on Human Trafficking

Zhu Calls for Cooperation on Human Trafficking
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji on Tuesday called for international cooperation to end the illegal trade in humans, two weeks after the bodies of 58 illegal Chinese immigrants were discovered in England.

"The Chinese government is firmly opposed to illegal immigration," Zhu told journalists after talks with Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok. Zhu, on his first day in the Netherlands as part of a European tour, said he did not discuss the subject with Kok.

"We have laws to ban and prohibit such illegal immigration, but the international gangs...are also shrewd and therefore we need international cooperation to root out the problem," he said.

On June 19, British customs officials at the port of Dover found the bodies of 58 illegal Chinese immigrants who had suffocated in the back of a Dutch lorry when their only air vent had been shut. Two other immigrants on the ferry journey from Belgium survived.

The Dutch driver is facing 58 counts of manslaughter in a British court and Dutch authorities are holding seven other suspected members of an illegal human trafficking organisation.

Two Chinese appeared in a British court on June 24 charged with conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants into Britain.

Zhu's visit to the Netherlands, which ends on Wednesday, is his second. He visited as mayor of Shanghai in 1991.

People's Daily Online --- http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/