September 13, 2018
Published By Tenzin Choetso

Rapporteur Belder, Dutch MEP, for the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs presenting the EU-China relations report in the European Parliament. Photo/EP

Brussels 12 September: The European Parliament today unanimously approved its EU-China relations report. This report forms the basis for future EU-China policy. The report highlights the deterioration of human rights situation in Tibet and in China.

The report prepared by Rapporteur 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, with the Chinese government curtailing a wide range of human rights under the pretext of security and stability, and engaging in relentless attacks against Tibetan identity and culture; whereas the surveillance and control measures have been on the increase over the past few years as well as arbitrary detentions, acts of torture and ill-treatment; whereas the Chinese Government has created in Tibet an environment in which there are no limits to state authority, a climate of fear is pervasive, and every aspect of public and private life is tightly controlled and regulated; whereas in Tibet, any acts of non-violent dissent or criticism of state policies with regard to ethnic or religious minorities can be considered as ‘splittist’ and therefore criminalised”

The report criticised the restriction of access to Tibet Autonomous Region for EU citizens of a Tibetan background, for foreigners, including EU citizens, particularly for journalists, diplomats and other independent observers. It urged 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.

“No progress has been made in the resolution of the Tibetan crisis in the last few years as the last round of peace talks took place in 2010; whereas the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Tibet has led to an increase in self-immolation cases with a total of 156 since 2009,” said the report.

The report called on the Chinese government to investigate the ongoing cases of enforced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment of Tibetans and to respect their religion and belief in line with international human rights standards.

It also called on the Chinese authorities to allow Tibetans in Tibet to travel freely and to respect their rights to freedom of movement. Further, it urged for the resumption of a constructive and peaceful dialogue between the Chinese authorities and representatives of the Tibetan people.

It may be recalled that the Office of Tibet, Brussels, and many other NGOs lobbied for many months for this robust and effective report.

-Report Filed by OoT Brussels

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