EU urges China to discuss real autonomy with Tibet

13th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

The resolution on Tibet was passed by 338 votes for, 131 against and with 14 abstentions.

STRASBOURG – European lawmakers urged China Thursday to renew dialogue on real autonomy for Tibet, in a resolution marking 50 years since a failed uprising there forced the Tibetan spiritual leader into exile.

In a resolution, the assembly "urges the Chinese government to consider the Memorandum for Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan people of November 2008 as a basis for substantive discussion."

The parliamentarians, meeting in Strasbourg in an assembly where the Tibetan flag has flown in recent days, urged the 27 European Union nations to "adopt a declaration calling on the Chinese government to open a constructive dialogue."

The resolution was passed by 338 votes for, 131 against and with 14 abstentions.

The lawmakers also called on Beijing to release people detained after peaceful protests and account for those killed or missing, and to allow foreign media and rights experts to enter Tibet and nearby areas.

The move comes just after China expressed anger over a similar resolution passed by the US Congress that condemned Beijing's handling of the Tibet issue.

"The resolution passed by the US House of Representatives disregards the facts (and) makes groundless accusations against China's ethnic and religious policy," foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told journalists.

"The Chinese people and government express our strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to this. China has lodged solemn representations with the United States," he said.

The US Congress nearly unanimously passed the resolution Wednesday that urged China to "cease its repression of the Tibetan people, and to lift immediately the harsh policies imposed on Tibetans."

Addressing the EU lawmakers, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner expressed "regret that dialogue had not brought substantive results" between China and envoys of the Dalai Lama.

She insisted on "the necessity for both parties to resume the dialogue promptly," adding that it would be the "best way to avoid frustration and violence among young Tibetans."

AFP / Expatica

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