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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China)


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

Frieda Brepoels, Helga Trüpel, Heidi Hautala, Barbara Lochbihler, Raül Romeva i Rueda on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0168/2011

Procedure : 2011/2614(RSP)
Stadium plenaire behandeling
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European Parliament resolution on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China)

The European Parliament,

- having regard to previous resolutions on China notably those concerning human rights and minority rights, and in particular those of 26 November 2009 and 24 November 2010,


- having regard to the 13th EU-China Summit of 6 October 2010, Brussels, which included the first EU-China High Level Cultural Forum aimed at strengthening the EU-China cultural dialogue and cooperation


- having regard to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, adopted by General Assembly resolution 47/135 of 18 December 1992, which stipulates that ‘[s]tates shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories’,


- having regard to Articles 4 and 21 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, which provide, respectively, governmental assistance in the cultural development of regions inhabited by minority nationalities and state protection of valuable cultural monuments and relics,


- having regard to Rule 122(5) of its Rules of Procedure,


A. whereas in 2009 Beijing has launched the ‘Kashgar Dangerous House Reform’ in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), an urban reconstruction programme which since 2009 progessively destroys the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar with the plan to demolish 85 percent of the traditional town centre, replacing it with modern appartment blocks, and converting the remaining old parts of the city into propaganda stigmatised tourism sites;


B. whereas Beijing continues to exclude the city of Kashgar from bids for UNESCO world heritage status such as the planned transnational application to achieve protection of several cultural sites on Central Asia’s Silk Road,


C. whereas the city of Kashgar is an internationally significant site of unique architectural heritage with historical and geographical importance as an ancient centre of trade and tourism,


D. whereas the city of Kashgar retains a highly symbolic value for the cultural identity of the region’s Uyghur and Hui populations as well as for China’s cultural diversity,


E. whereas the reconstruction programme’s official justification of earthquake fortification does not necessitate complete demolition of traditional buildings with other options being culturally sensitive renovation,


F. whereas Beijing is continuously implementing repressive ethnocultural policies in XUAR, which reached a grim peak during the violent crackdown on Uyghur protesters in 2009’s Urumqi unrest,


G. whereas the Uyghur and Hui population suffer ongoing violations of their human rights and whereas many are denied adequate political representation and cultural self-determination,


1. calls on the Chinese government to immediately stop the cultural destruction threatening Kashgar’s architectural survival and to effectuate comprehensive expert inquiry into culture-sensitive methods of renovation,


2. calls on the Chinese government to terminate all forced resettlement and social marginalisation of Kashgar’s Uyghur population, which is caused by the destruction of residential areas, and to adequately compensate all previous victims for the losses suffered,


3. urges the Chinese government to adhere to its constitutional obligations by adequately supporting Kashgar's and XUAR's cultural traditions, which are strongly influenced by the Uyghur identity,


4. urges the Chinese government to assess the possibility of including the city of Kashgar in the joined application with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for the Silk Road's UNESCO World Heritage designation,


5. calls on the Chinese government to stop all discriminatory and repressive policies towards the Uyghur and Hui population, and to respect their fundamental right to freedom of cultural expression,


6. calls on the European External Action Service to devise additional measures in the context of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, to protect the human and cultural rights of China’s ethnic, religious and linguistic minority groups,


7. encourages the Member States and the international community to maintain vigilance with respect to China’s domestic policies and their respective regional and international consequences,


8. calls on EU representatives and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to increase and intensify talks about human rights and minority rights with the People’s Republic of China,


9. instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee of the Peoples Republic of China and the Regional Party Standing Committee of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region