European Parliament adopts EU-China relations report critical of Tibet situation

European Parliament (Photo courtesy: EU)
European Parliament (Photo courtesy: EU)

(, Sep14, 2018) – The European Parliament has on Sep 13 unanimously approved its EU-China relations report which, among other things, indicts China for severe violations of Tibetan rights and identity. The report, prepared by the rapporteur Bastiaan “Bas” Belder, a Dutch MEP, for the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, “deplores the deterioration of the situation in Tibet over the past few years, in spite of economic growth and infrastructure development.” Belder is a member of the committee.

The report accuses the Chinese government of curtailing a wide range of human rights under the pretext of security and stability, and engaging in relentless attacks against Tibetan identity and culture. It continued that surveillance and control measures had been on the increase over the past few years as well as arbitrary detentions, acts of torture and ill-treatment.

The report says the Chinese Government had created in Tibet an environment in which there were no limits to state authority, where a climate of fear was pervasive, and every aspect of public and private life was tightly controlled and regulated.

And any acts of non-violent dissent or criticism of state policies with regard to ethnic or religious minorities could be considered as ‘splittist’ and therefore criminalized, the report says.

The report also addresses the issue of access to Tibet, referring to restriction of access to EU citizens of Tibetan background, as well as for foreigners, including EU citizens, particularly journalists, diplomats and other independent observers.

The report urges China to give EU diplomats, journalists and citizens unfettered access to Tibet in reciprocity to the free and open access to the entire territories of the EU Member States that the Chinese travellers enjoy.

The report expresses disappointment that no progress had been made in the resolution of the Tibetan crisis in the last few years, with the last round of peace talks having taken place in 2010.

The report notes that it was the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Tibet which had led to an increase in self-immolation cases with the total being 156 since 2009.

The report also calls on China to allow Tibetans in Tibet to travel freely and respect their rights to freedom of movement.

And it urges for the resumption of a constructive and peaceful dialogue between the Chinese authorities and representatives of the Tibetan people.

The report is supposed to form a basis for the EU’s future China policy.


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