Serious Tibet concerns raised in European Parliament report on EU-China strategy

European Parliament (Photo courtesy: EU)

(, Sep16’21) – The European Parliament has on Sep 15 expressed concern over reports of coercive labour programmes in Tibet and called for free access to Tibetan areas for diplomats and journalists while also criticizing China’s control of the selection of religious leaders in its report on the EU-China Strategy.

In their report, initiated by Member of the European Parliament Hilde Vautmans (Belgium, Renew Europe Group), the MEPs have spoken about being “extremely concerned” about reports of coercive labour programmes in Tibet and called on China to comply with its obligations under national and international law to respect human rights, including the rights of ethnic groups in Xinjiang, Tibet and Inner Mongolia.

Hilde Vautmans, Member of the European Parliament.

In particular, the report calls on the European Commission to express to the Chinese authorities its concern over China’s Measures for the Administration of Religious Clergy (Order No. 15), which further increase state control of the selection of religious leaders.

China has been citing this and other legislations as well as other reasons for state authority to claim the right to appoint the next Dalai Lama.

The recognition and selection of Tibetan Buddhist reincarnates follow age-old religious traditions that include prayers, divinations, rituals, interpreting signs and symbols, messages left by the reincarnates’ predecessors, and so on. However, atheist China claims that it is all a matter of state authority.

The report on the EU-China Strategy paper adopted by the European Parliament proposes a strategy based on six pillars and the above issues were raised under the second one which focuses on “Enhanced engagement on universal values, international norms and human rights.”


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