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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

Charles Tannock, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Tomasz Piotr Poręba on behalf of the ECR Group

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

Eljárás : 2011/2614(RSP)
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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 ‘states 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, 22 and 119 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, state protection of valuable cultural monuments and relics and protection of the cultural legacy of the nationalities;


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


A. whereas in 2009 the Chinese Government announced a $ 500 million "Kashgar Dangerous House Reform (KDHS)" in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), an urban reconstruction programme which since 2009 has been progressively destroying the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar with the plan to demolish 85 percent of the traditional Old City, replacing it with modern apartment blocks;


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, being an internationally significant site of unique architectural heritage with historical and geographical importance, being an ancient centre of trade and communication for different populations along the Silk Road;


D. whereas the city of Kashgar retains a highly symbolic value for the cultural identity of the region’s Uyghur population and in particular represents the local old settlement of the Uighur ethnic population with the populations of Tajik, Kyrgyz and Uzbek origin all representatives of ethnicities of this Region which gives an everlasting momentum to China’s cultural diversity;


E. whereas Beijing is continuously implementing discriminatory ethno-cultural policies in XUAR, violating human rights and rights to cultural expression of the Uyghur and Hui population, which reached a grim peak during the violent crackdown on Uyghur protesters in 2009’s Urumqi unrest;


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


2. urges the Chinese Government to re-assess the impact of the urban reconstruction project on Uyghur culture and society in general and on kashagaliks in particular, fully to take into account the high value of the city of Kashgar for the Uyghur material culture, architecture, and human community, and to ensure that culture-sensitive methods for renovation are applied in the reconstruction works;


3. calls on the Chinese Government to stop all discriminatory and repressive policies towards the Uyghur and Hui population in China, to respect their fundamental right to freedom of cultural expression and to ensure that the interests and rights of Uyghur population are observed in the context of the Kashgar urban reconstruction project;


4. calls on 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;


5. 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;


6. calls on the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to address China's Authorities with contributions and recommendations on the management of the Urban Historic Landscape, taking also as example Chinese domestic expertise so well demonstrated to the world during the Shanghai Expo in its Urban Thematic Pavilion;


7. 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;


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.