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


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

Helmut Scholz, Rui Tavares on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

Eljárás : 2011/2614(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar (China - Autonomous Region of Xinjiang)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas Kashgar located in the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang is a town with a recorded history of 2100 years; whereas many of the buildings are over 400 years old; whereas Chinese scholars consider it the only surviving Muslim old town with central Asian influence, and UNESCO experts regard it as the most important trade centre along the ancient Silk Road;


B.  whereas Kashgar's significant cultural value was recognized by the Chinese government in 1986, when it was first pronounced as a national level historical city;


C.  whereas the preservation of Kashgar Old Town is facing challenges similar to those facing the preservation of other ancient towns in China and worldwide - irrational real estate development. over-exploited tourism industry, removal of local residents, lack of sufficient infrastructure, low awareness of the values of the cultural heritage, improper management;

D.  whereas Chinese authorities declared in early 2009 that 65,000 homes in Kashgar's old city were unfit for habitation due to poor drainage and concerns over potential collapse in the event of an Earthquake; whereas 40,000 families are set to lose their millennia-old, traditional mud-brick homes as part of the project, and will be moved to areas miles outside the city;

1.  deplores the fact that the two thousand year old town, Kashgar lacked proper maintenance, and did not have infrastructure improvements for decades; recognises the need to improve the living environment and to reinforce the stability of the old houses; calls on the Chinese authorities to conduct the reconstruction in a way that preserves the cultural heritage of the town;


2.  underlines the importance of public consultation and citizens participation in the elaboration of the urban reconstruction plan for Kashgar; deplores the fact that many of the citizens of Kashgar feel not informed and calls on the local authorities to improve public information and consultation;

3.  suggests to the Chinese authorities to reconsider the decision not to include Kashgar in the application for the Silk Road to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site;


4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of China and the Secretary-General of the UNESCO.