MEPs raise concerns of China’s militarised educational and training system in Tibet

MEPs raise concerns of China’s militarised educational and training system in Tibet

In 2019 and 2020, the Tibet Autonomous Region introduced new policies to promote systematic, centralised and large-scale training and to relocate redundant rural workers to other parts of the territory.

According to a Jamestown Foundation report, in the first half of 2020 over half a million farmers and shepherds, accounting for 15 % of the Tibetan population, had been enrolled in military training centres, with a view to their recruitment in industry.

According to the Chinese Communist Party, Tibetans are people who must be ‘reprogrammed’ by minimising the negative influence of Buddhism, and by transforming their ways of thinking and their identity by learning both work discipline and the official Chinese language. A great deal of pressure is put on officials in order to achieve these drastic results.

These acts of coercion and indoctrination clearly endanger the linguistic, cultural and spiritual heritage of the Tibetan minority and constitute human rights’ violations.

On 29 October 2020, nine cross party, pan-European Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Elena Lizzi, Rosanna Conte, Gianna Gancia, Lorant Vincze, Ausra Maldeikiene, Elzbieta Kruk, Viktor Uspaskich, Ivan Vilibor Sincic and Marco Dreosto addressed a parliamentary question to Josep Borrell, the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy regarding China’s continued oppression of the Tibetan community. The parliamentary question was also supported by the French representative MEP Dominique Bilde.

The MEPs asked three pointed questions; the first being “how does the Vice-President / High Representative intend to take action to protect the rights of the Tibetan people?” which they followed with “will he take into account, in future negotiations with the People’s Republic of China, the forced assimilation campaign in so-called re-education camps that is used against ethnolinguistic minorities?”

In their last question the MEPs asked the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy if he will “continue negotiations with those parties that do not observe democratic and human principles?”

These questions follow similar questions raised by other parliamentarians concerned about China’s oppressive policies towards Tibetans. The Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy is expected to reply in the coming weeks.

Photo Credit : https://www.slideshare.net/FreeTibetUK/free-tibet-power-point-presentation-2015-china-and-tibet

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