Procedure : 2008/2557(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0133/2008

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 09/04/2008 - 13

Votes :

Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Monica Frassoni, Hélène Flautre, Eva Lichtenberger, Milan Horáček, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Mikel Irujo Amezaga, Helga Trüpel, Bart Staes and Marie Anne Isler Béguin
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on the situation in Tibet

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Tibet 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Tibet, in particular that of 15 February 2007 on the dialogue between the Chinese Government and Envoys of the Dalai Lama,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 December 2007 on the EU-China Summit - EU/China human rights dialogue,

–   having regard to its resolution of 7 September 2006 on EU-China relations,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 September 2007 on human rights dialogues and consultations on human rights with third countries,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas in Tibet, beginning on 10 March 2008, the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibetan national uprising against the Chinese administration, protests broke out at three monasteries, with Tibetan monks demonstrating against the Chinese occupation, forced assimilation and brutal political, social and cultural repression; whereas His Holiness the Dalai Lama has called the present Chinese policy a 'cultural genocide'; whereas more than 60 monks were arrested and the rest confined inside their monasteries,

B.  whereas on 14 March protests in the streets escalated into riots in Lhasa's old quarter, with clashes between Tibetans and Han Chinese and attacks on shopkeepers and the burning and looting of small shops,

C.  whereas HH the Dalai Lama urged the demonstrators to protest peacefully and non-violently and reiterated his call for a resumption of negotiations with Beijing, with a view to achieving full and genuine political, cultural and spiritual autonomy for Tibet within China,

D.  whereas within 24 hours police officers and security forces cracked down on the demonstrators, gradually taking control of the riot areas, and in the following days started searching Tibetan neighbourhoods, dragging away and arresting suspects,

E.  whereas, according to the Chinese authorities, 20 people died, including a police officer; whereas, according to independent sources, more than 140 people died in the clashes, which extended to the bordering Tibetan-populated regions and thousands have been arrested,

F.  whereas a state of emergency has been declared by the Chinese Government, and shops and temples have been closed in Lhasa, as well as in other cities, with hundreds of paramilitary police officers and army troops moved to Tibet from the rest of China,

G.  whereas foreign journalists have been denied access to Tibet and blocked from reaching neighbouring regions with large Tibetan populations; whereas foreign reporters who managed to get into Tibet after the riots were forced to leave, contradicting the Chinese Government's pledge to grant foreign journalists freedom of movement throughout China and greater press freedom in the run-up to the Olympic Games,

H.  whereas the Chinese Government appears to be blocking foreign websites inside China and censoring foreign television broadcasts about the situation in Tibet; whereas the Chinese authorities accused the foreign media of misrepresenting the events, showing only footages of alleged attacks on ethnic Hans by Tibetans, and started a nationalist anti-Tibetan campaign,

I.  whereas Tibetan Buddhism as well as the other religions are subjected to restrictions and closely controlled by the state; whereas the Chinese authorities keep interfering in the internal affairs of the Tibetan religious hierarchy with regard, in particular, to the replacement of the Panchen Lama,

J.  whereas the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expected the award of the 2008 Olympic Games to China to open up the country and improve the human rights situation; whereas China has started investigating the political views of Olympic athletes,

K.  whereas every effort should be made to take advantage of the Olympic Games in Beijing and use them as an extraordinary opportunity to bring about democratic reforms in China and make significant progress as regards the question of Tibet,

L.  whereas the IOC is supposed to be a worldwide active civil society organisation with sporting as well as social responsibilities; whereas the IOC had a praiseworthy initiative at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, where the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony was lit by an Aborigine, the athlete Cathy Freeman,

M.  whereas the human rights situation in China has shown no sign of improvement, as proved by the five-year prison sentence imposed on 24 March on human rights activist Yang Chunlin, who was charged with subverting the power of the state for circulating an open letter entitled 'We want human rights, not the Olympics',

N.  whereas the EU-China human rights dialogue established in 2000 has achieved so far no tangible results; whereas the lack of results is also the consequence of an uncoordinated and ineffective EU common foreign policy towards China,

O.  whereas the 27 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU, at their informal meeting (Gymnich) on 29 March 2008 in Brdo, discussed the situation in Tibet without adopting any significant and substantial measure vis-a-vis the ongoing Chinese repression against the Tibetan population,

1.  Strongly condemns all the acts of violence that took place in the streets of Lhasa and in Tibet, and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims;

2.  Firmly condemns the brutal repression by the Chinese security forces against Tibetan demonstrators and expresses its deep concern about the People's Republic of China's policy of assimilation vis-à-vis Tibet, as well as for other minorities like the Uyghurs;

3.  Calls for an independent international inquiry into the tragic events, and urges the Chinese authorities to grant foreign reporters full access to Tibet and the bordering regions, allowing them to do their job freely;

4.  Expresses its deep concern at the wave of arrests that took place after the demonstrations, with over 400 people jailed in Lhasa, and calls for the immediate release of all those who protested peacefully, exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression;

5.  Regrets that the six rounds of talks between the Beijing authorities and the representatives of the Dalai Lama were inconclusive, and supports the Dalai Lama's call for a resumption of negotiations between the two sides; expects the negotiations to be brought back on track before the Olympic Games, and calls on the Chinese authorities to invite the Dalai Lama to the opening ceremony of the Games as a sign of good will; calls on the EU leaders not to attend this ceremony in the event that no progress is made with regard to the Tibetan question;

6.  Reiterates, in this regard, its call on the Council to appoint a special envoy for Tibetan issues in order to facilitate the dialogue between the parties and closely follow the negotiations once they are resumed;

7.  Calls on China to respect its commitments to human and minority rights and the rule of law; urges China not to abuse the 2008 Olympic Games by arresting dissidents, journalists and human rights activists in order to prevent embarrassing demonstrations and reports;

8.  Calls on the People's Republic of China to allow injured Tibetans to receive adequate medical attention and arrested Tibetans to receive legal assistance;

9.  Calls on China to allow an independent body to have access to Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the Panchen Lama of Tibet, and his parents, as requested by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and to stop interfering in religious affairs;

10.  Deplores the fact that, despite the IOC's and the world community's expectations, the People's Republic of China nevertheless continues to commit serious human and minority rights violations;

11.  Calls on the Chinese authorities to issue a standing invitation to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN mechanisms to visit Tibet; urges the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva (3-28 March 2008) to condemn human rights violations in the People's Republic of China;

12.  Calls on the People's Republic of China, in the framework of its human rights dialogue with the European Union, to authorise EU monitors to enter Tibet in order to obtain an objective picture; urges the Commission to take the initiative in this regard;

13.  Urges the People's Republic of China to stop scrutinising and judging Olympic athletes on the basis of their political views and considering banning them from the Olympic Games if they dissent from the Chinese Government's official position;

14.  Regrets the lack of a coordinated and coherent European policy towards China ands the fact that EU policy has been marked so far by unbridled competition among EU leaders, whose only interest has been to sign lucrative contracts with the Chinese authorities at the expense of human rights; regrets that the respect for human rights is no criteria for the eligibility of the venue of the Olympic Games;

15.  Calls, therefore, on the European Union and the Member States to seriously consider common actions vis-à-vis the People's Republic of China if the situation does not improve, including a full boycott of the Games, and to reassess the strategic partnership with China;

16.  Urges China to ratify without any further delay, and in any case before the Olympic Games, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments of the Member States, the President and Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China and the International Olympic Committee.

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