EU brings up Tibet’s human rights violations during their summit with China.

The 24th EU-China Summit, held on December 7-8 in Beijing, witnessed high-level engagements between the European Union and China. European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang, where the EU leaders reiterated concerns about human rights violations, including the situation in Tibet.

The joint press conference held by European Union leaders following the EU-China Summit provided a platform to address various issues discussed during the high-level meetings. President Charles Michel, in his remarks, said “For the European Union human rights and fundamental freedoms are universal and we will never turn a blind eye to human rights cases. Today we welcome China’s resumption of the human rights dialogue. It’s a step in the right direction and today we continued this conversation at the highest level. We also highlighted cases of specific concern, such as the human rights violations in Tibet.”

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a prominent international human rights organisation, stated on Dec. 4, calling upon the leaders of the European Union to take a robust stance on human rights concerns during their meetings with Chinese counterparts. The statement from HRW emphasised the importance of addressing critical human rights issues in China during the upcoming summit.

“EU leaders should realize that the Chinese government’s deepening repressive rule will have serious implications for EU-China relations,” said Philippe Dam, EU director at HRW. “Von der Leyen and Michel should address China’s rights violations head on and make clear to President Xi Jinping that there can be no business as usual if pervasive repression continues across the country.”

Representative Rigzin Genkhang from the Office of Tibet in Brussels welcomed President Michel’s remarks at the end of the EU-China Summit, perceiving them as a clear indication of the EU’s unwavering focus on matters about Tibet. Genkhang’s remarks highlighted proactive efforts from the Office of Tibet in Brussels, noting that they had written to EU leaders before their departure for Beijing. The letter urged the EU leaders to prioritise and raise concerns regarding Tibet during their discussions with Chinese counterparts at the summit, CTA run noted.

Over the past year, there has been a series of high-profile engagements between European Union (EU) leaders and counterparts in China to review their relationships. The EU-China Summit occurred after a sequence of significant visits, such as Charles Michel’s visit to Beijing in November 2022, Ursula von der Leyen’s visit in March, and the visit by the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, in October. In June, EU leaders reiterated their concerns regarding human rights issues in China. However, they refrained from delineating a detailed strategy to effectively address China’s concerning human rights record.

News Desk

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