(TibetanReview.net, Jan26’24) – While China’s stock propaganda line is that “Tibet has been part of China since ancient times,” a retired Chinese university professor has presented imperial record-evidence Jan 25 to show this was not true. The occasion was a hearing on the ‘Legal Status of Tibet” held in the Estonian Parliament.
The hearing was chaired by Juku-Kalle Raid, a member of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Chair of the Parliamentary Support Group for Tibet. Others who addressed the hearing have included Sikyong (executive head) Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at Dharamshala, India, Tibet legal expert Dr Michael van Walt van Praag, and Representative Mr Sonam Frasi from the Office of Tibet, London.
Addressing a gathering of some 35 parliamentarians, journalists, academics and Tibet supporters, Hon. Shiang Lau, Emeritus Chair Professor of the City University of Hong Kong, “gave evidence of Chinese Imperial records that proved without any doubt that the Chinese Imperial Houses, Ming and Qing, never recorded Tibet as part of China,” noted the CTA on its Tibet.net website Jan 26.
The report said Dr Michael van Walt presented legal perspective that supported Hon-Shiang Lau’s testimony. He has noted that by insisting that its trading partner-governments declare that “Tibet as an internal issue of China” Beijing is simply looking to buy legitimacy for its occupation of Tibet, and to deny the Tibetan people their right of self-determination. He has said this is a breach of international law.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering, who was the first to speak after the Chair’s opening remarks, presented a “historical context to the Tibetan narrative, Middle-Way Approach and the importance of correcting historical facts of Tibet’s independence before its invasion by the People Republic of China (PRC),” said the Tibet.net report. Mr Frasi has elaborated on aspects of the subjects referred to by the Sikyong.
Currently independent Estonia’s first Prime Minister, Mr Mart Laar, was stated to have sent a message of support to the hearing, which was read out by the Chair and, in English, by Roy Strider, a Tibet campaign supporter.
The Sikyong has met with President Lauri Hussar of the Riigikogu, the Estonian parliament, as well as the Chairman (Marko Mihkelson) of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee during a personal tour of the parliament given by Juku-Kalle Raid.