China Pressures Europe to Stay Silent on Human Rights

This op-ed was written by Kai Müller, Executive Director of the International Campaign for Tibet in Germany, and published on The Diplomat on 15 May 2016.

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Chair of the German Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee Michael Brand

China’s attempts to export its censorship and authoritarianism raise serious questions for all European countries.

China’s belligerent diplomacy in Europe has been in the spotlight this week after a German lawmaker who chairs the Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee was refused access to China after he criticized rights violations in Tibet. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said he was “not welcome” because of his support for “Tibetan independence.”

German Christian Democrat politician Michael Brand, who had intended to travel with the Parliamentary Committee to Tibet in …

EU and EU Member States reactions to the adoption of China’s NGO Law

On 28 April 2016, China’s National People’s Congress adopted its highly controversial Law on the Management of Foreign Non-Government Organizations Activities in China (also known as the NGO Law). This law, which is set to come into force on 1 January 2017, requires that foreign nonprofits be sponsored by a Chinese government organization and be registered with the Ministry of Public Security, rather than the Ministry of Civil Affairs, as has been the case. It grants police extensive investigation and enforcement powers, including the ability to arbitrarily summon representatives of overseas groups, cancel activities deemed a threat to national security and limit incoming funds. State news reports estimate that more than 7,000 foreign NGOs will be affected.

This new law is part of a raft of …

Tibet, symbolism and the Czech Republic

Pro-Tibetan protester in Prague

A video footage image shows an activist replacing a Chinese flag with a Tibetan one in Prague. Police said they detained a dozen activists. (Photo: AP)

“Czech President Milos Zeman recently labelled pro-Tibet protestors “mentally ill” during a visit of the Chinese President to the Czech Republic. What does this say about Zeman and Czech society?

Chinese president Xi Jinping paid an official state visit to the Czech Republic on 28 March – this three day visit was the first historical trip of the Chinese president to the country and represented the culmination of a revised foreign policy course adopted by the government that took power in 2013 and strongly advocated by President Milos Zeman.

Strengthening ties with China could …

Golog Jigme, leading human rights defender, briefs European Parliament, high-level officials in Brussels

Golog Jigme
Brussels – Tibetan Buddhist monk and former political prisoner Golog Jigme testified to the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights this week about his torture and imprisonment in Tibet and the need for the EU to challenge China’s oppressive policies.

Golog Jigme testifying

During a visit to Brussels co-organized by the Office of Tibet in Belgium and the International Campaign for Tibet, Golog Jigme also met high-level representatives of the European External Action Service (EEAS), and other senior officials including the President of the Flemish Parliament, members of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Tibet Interest Group of the European Parliament.

Flemish Parliament Jan Peumans

Golog Jigme at the Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry

Golog Jigme, also known as Jigme Gyatso, was jailed and tortured after making the documentary “Leaving Fear Behind” in 2008

International Campaign for Tibet welcomes concern by US, EU, Germany, Japan and Canada on sweeping new security laws in China

As part of a counter-terrorist military drill in Kardze on May 26 (2014), a self-immolation was staged using what is presumably a dummy model. Image from the Chinese state media.

The International Campaign for Tibet welcomed reports about concerns voiced by the United States, the EU, Germany, Japan and Canada with regard to sweeping new and planned security laws in the People’s Republic of China. As Reuters news agency reported today, the United States, Canada, Germany, Japan and the European Union, in a rare joint action, have written to China to express concern over the recently passed law on counter-terrorism, the draft cyber security law, and the draft law on management of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Matteo Mecacci, President of …

UN Human Rights Council Side Event “China’s new law on counter-terrorism and its impacts on human rights”

FIDH & ICT side event - China's New Law on Counter-Terrorism and its Impact on Human Rights The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) are organising a side event during the upcoming 31th session of the UN Human Rights Council session.

The event, “China’s new law on counter-terrorism and its impact on human rights“, will take place  in the Palais des Nations, Room XXVII, on 10 March from 13:00 – 14:00.

Coinciding with the 57th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising in 1959, it will explore the scope of the new law on counter-terror, individual provisions of the law and its political impact, and give insight on the political context of this new law, in particular with regard to Tibetans and Uighurs.

Speakers will include Sharon Hom, from …

European Parliament report on EU-China relations deplores deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet and China

6612bda416c6ddd9c02a0db227cc82feBrussels, 18 December 2015 – A major debate in the European Parliament on Tuesday (December 15) was followed by the adoption of a report by more than 500 MEPs expressing serious concern on human rights in Tibet and China, and calling for a more coherent EU policy towards China and the need to « deepen exchanges between the EU and China on human rights issues to be matched by tangible improvements in the situation on the ground ».

The report on EU-China relations drafted by MEP Belder (Netherlands, European Conservatives and Reformists Group) followed the second visit to China of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Mr Stavros Lambrinidis and the 34th EU-China Human Rights dialogue on November 30 in …

European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights Holds Exchange of Views on Tibet

23 October 2015, Brussels – An exchange of views on the human rights situation in Tibet was held yesterday in Brussels by the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI).

Keynote speakers of the panel were Marie Holzman, sinologist, independent journalist and President of the French association Solidarité Chine, Lobsang Tsering, one of the cousins of the late popular monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, Vincent Metten, EU’s Policy Director for the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) and a French academic expert on contemporary Tibetan culture.

They highlighted the dire situation for human rights in Tibet, including restrictions on freedom of expression, self-immolations, arbitrary detention and torture, but also described the astonishing cultural resilience demonstrated by the Tibetans …

Is the Czech Republic China’s New ‘Bridge to Europe’?

The Czech Republic is drawing closer to China. Is this a new normal or a temporary golden age?

The label of China’s “bridge to Europe” has become something of a holy grail. Though no one clearly knows what that would entail, the phrase became hyped during the acceleration of Chinese relations with the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries after the global financial crisis, and especially after opening up of the so-called 16+1 platform in 2011-2012. With recent news about flourishing Czech relations with China and announcements of various Chinese FDI in the country, the question might be whether the Czech Republic is the new (or yet another) Chinese “bridge to Europe.”

An interesting article written by Richard Q. Turcsanyi and …

European Council President Tusk calls on China to resume dialogue on Tibet at 17th EU-China Summit

President of the European Council Donald Tusk directly referred to concerns on Tibet and called for dialogue to be resumed at a joint press conference with China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang following the 17th EU-China Summit in Brussels on June 29.
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders also raised Tibet with his counterpart in China during a state visit on June 20-28 led by the Belgian King Philippe. The Minister handed a list of six Tibetan political prisoners to the Chinese authorities, expressing concern and asking for information about their situation.
At the press conference, European Council President Tusk expressed the EU’s “concerns on freedom of expression and association in China, including the situation of the persons belonging to …