Tibetan activists in Europe urge EU not to forget human rights
“The recent appointment of both a President and Foreign Policy chief for the EU creates a timely opportunity for a radical re-think within the EU on its strategy for engaging China on human rights and Tibet,” the group statement said.
“Free Tibet considers that such a strategy should incorporate a new, EU-wide position on Tibet which more accurately reflects the importance of Tibet within overall EU-China relations.”
Similarly, “Until now the EU has shown reluctance to take a strong, public and concerted position on China’s worsening human rights violations in Tibet. Following the last summit in May the EU and China issued a detailed and lengthy joint communiqué, which inexplicably failed to mention even human rights. And in advance of next Monday’s summit, the EU and China staged a low-profile and little-noticed dialogue on human rights on November 20.”
If the Europeans truly care about the situation in Tibet, they should appoint an “EU special representative for Tibet responsible for co-ordinating national policies on Tibet.” They should also push for “Regular and concerted promotion of the resumption of substantive dialogue, without pre-conditions, between China and representatives of the Tibetan people”.
Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, is even more critical. For her, whilst the European Union might say that human rights are a priority, it has gradually dropped them from its agenda. Ultimately, Brussels is at fault if China has the time and means to commit so many violations of its own citizens.