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Motion for a resolution - B7-0643/2010Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Tibet: plans tot institute Chinese as the main language of education


with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure

Heidi Hautala, Eva Lichtenberger, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Frieda Brepoels, François Alfonsi on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0637/2010

NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
Procedure : 2010/2965(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Tibet: plans tot institute Chinese as the main language of education

The European Parliament,

A. whereas respect for human rights notably freedom of identity, culture and religion is a founding principle of the European Union and a priority of the European Union’s foreign policy,


B. whereas protests staged by Tibetan school and college students took place recently over Chinese officials plans to restrict the use of Tibetan language by changing the language of instruction to Chinese and by treating Tibetan only as a language class,


C. whereas the Tibetan language, a testimony of a historically rich civilisation, is a fundamental and irreplaceable element of Tibetan identity, culture and religion,


D. whereas the shared language of a community provides a key determinant of culture and languages convey very specific social and cultural behaviours and ways of thinking,


E. whereas, as a result of the dominance of the Chinese language, there is growing anxiety over job prospects among graduate students in Tibetan areas,


F. whereas, for a successful bilingual education, the introduction of Chinese as the non-native language should be incremental with decisions on curriculum and modes of instruction made by Tibetans at the local level rather than by the central government,


G. whereas it has been established that mother-tongue bilingual education is the most effective path to successful bilingualism for Tibetans, and that this so-called model 1 bilingual education policy has consistently led to the highest rates of college placement of Tibetan high school students across the Tibetan region,


H. whereas the People’s Republic of China (PRC), along with 142 other countries, voted to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on September 13, 2007, which states notably in its article 14 that "Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning",


1. Expresses its concern over the marginalization and erosion of the Tibetan language, which is the bedrock of Tibetan identity, religion and culture;


2. Urges the Chinese Government to preserve and protect the distinct cultural, religious and national identity of the six million Tibetan people living in People's Republic of China and not to reduce the use of the Tibetan language within the education system;


3. Urges the Chinese authorities to support a genuine bilingual language policy, in which all subjects, including mathematics and science, can be taught in Tibetan, the teaching of the Chinese language is strengthened, and local authorities and communities are empowered to make decisions on the language of instruction;


4. Calls on the Chinese Government to act in accordance with its own Constitution and the Law on Regional National Autonomy, which guarantee the freedom of nationalities ability to use and develop their own spoken and written languages; points out that Article 10 of the Law on Regional National Autonomy stipulates that these organs ‘shall guarantee the freedom of the nationalities in these areas to use and develop their own spoken and written languages’;


5. Stresses that, with the introduction of Chinese as the primary language of instruction, the quality of education for the vast majority of middle-school Tibetan students would suffer significantly and calls on the Chinese authorities to make every effort to lessen the linguistic and cultural disadvantages faced by Tibetans in urban employment, albeit in ways that do not undermine Tibetan language and culture;


6. Points out that better job opportunities to Tibetans could be provided by assigning more government positions to Tibetans and by insisting that all public sector employees in Tibetan areas have a working knowledge of the Tibetan language, in accordance with the spirit and letter of Article 49 of the Law on Regional National Autonomy;


7. Expects that the right of peaceful expression of views by the students be respected and that the relevant authorities address their grievances substantively and appropriately;


8. Demands that the higher education of Tibetans should be promoted by offering a wider choice of subjects in Tibetan, by giving Tibetans more study places in universities and by establishing more centres of higher learning in Tibetan autonomous areas;


9. Asks the Commission to report on the use of the fund requested for the support of Tibetan civil society in China and in exile in the framework of the 2009 budget (EUR 1 million) and insist on the need to preserve the Tibetan culture, particularly among those Tibetans living in exile;


10. Calls on the Chinese authorities to engage constructively with the Dalai Lama's representatives, as part of their process of dialogue, specifically on issues of language and education, as set out in the Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy;


11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission and the government and the parliament of the People's Republic of China.