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Poll: French, Germans favour rights, Tibet over trade with China

(TibetanReview.net, Mar27, 2014) – A Washington-based Tibet campaign group said Mar 24 that an opinion poll commissioned by it showed that an overwhelming majority of French and German citizens wanted their leaders to prioritise human rights and Tibet during their leaders’ upcoming meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping. After attending the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in the Netherlands, Xi arrived in France on Mar 24 as part of his four-nation tour of Europe, which will also take him to Germany and Belgium.

The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said the poll was commissioned by it and conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion over Mar 10-14 with sample populations of 1,000 in France and 1,003 in Germany. “in France, 90 percent and in Germany, 92 percent of citizens expressed their support for a meeting between China’s Party Secretary Xi Jinping and the Dalai Lama, to find a negotiated solution to the Tibetan issue,” the poll was cited as showing.

Also, the poll showed that “citizens in these two major European countries give greater priority to their leaders raising Tibet and human rights with the Chinese leadership, than pushing for commercial contracts.”

Given the poll’s finding, ICT President Mr Matteo Mecacci has said, “European Union leaders cannot ignore the opinion of their own citizens and should clearly assert their support for fellow Nobel Peace Laureate the Dalai Lama and the human rights crisis in Tibet during Xi’s visit. What is at stake in our relationship with China goes beyond a trade deal or access to their markets; it is the relationship with a rising authoritarian country that will shape the very nature and future of the world in which we all wish to live.”

The poll’s respondents were also reported to favour, to the extent of 83 percent in each country, French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel officially inviting the Dalai Lama to their capitals.

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