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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

The Tibet Group on the Franco-Chinese Joint Communique of 1st April 2009

April 12, 2009

Bureau du Tibet, Paris
April 10, 2009

FRENCH SENATE
Dated 9th April 2009.

Tibet Information Group of the French Senate has
carefully gone through the joint communiqué
released on the 1st April 2009 by France and
China (see below the Communiqué). The communiqué
came about after several rounds of consultations
between the Foreign Ministries of PRC and of
France and also on the occasion of the meeting
between the President Nicolas Sarkozy and the
President Hu Jintao. Mr Jean François HUMBERT (
UMP Doubs area), President of the Tibet
Information Group at the Senate, has the
following remarks over the recent joint Sino-French communiqué :

China and France are rightfully attached to the
principle of non interference as exposed in the
UN Charter.  However, the Tibetan issue could not
be considered an internal affair of China as long
as over 140 000 exile Tibetans, who enjoy asylum
status, continue to live out of Tibet’s borders,
and the flux of the  Tibetan refugees passing
through Nepal and India, continues.

The issue of Tibet is very important and
sensitive, and primarily, it concerns the
Tibetans themselves. It is also sensitive for the
French people and their elected members – be it
national or regional, who are attached to the
respect of human rights everywhere in the world,
and in particular, the freedom of opinion, political actions and of conscience.

Tibet is in fact an integral part of the Chinese
territory, and this since the "17 Point
agreement" which was signed under duress in 1951
by the Lhasa envoys with the Beijing’s
representatives. Despite the fact that the
Tibetans interpret very differently from what the
Chinese have to say on the relations which
existed between the two countries in the past,
before the “peaceful liberation” of Tibet in
1949, it is useless to challenge this fact.

Since 1988, the position of the Dalai Lama and
his exile Government based in Dharamsala, is
constant and clear – that they have given up
independence and ask for genuine autonomy. In
November 2008, the Tibetan negotiators have put
forward to their Chinese counterparts, a concrete
proposal contained in the Memorandum for the
genuine autonomy of the Tibetan people which
defines a new status for Tibet within the
framework of the constitution of the PRC.

Translated from the original in French by Bureau du Tibet, Paris.

PRESS COMMUNIQUÉ BETWEEN CHINA AND FRANCE
1 April, 2009

After several rounds of consultations, the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's
Republic of China and the Ministry of Foreign and
European Affairs of the Republic of France have agreed on the following:

The two sides reaffirmed that they attach great
importance to China-France relations, and will
take the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of
China-France diplomatic relations as a good
opportunity and work with a strategic and
long-term perspective and on the basis of
respecting each other and taking into account of
each other's fundamental interests to strengthen
the comprehensive strategic partnership. China
and France reiterated their adherence to the
principle of non-interference (in each other's
internal affairs) set forth by the Charter of the
United Nations and agreed to enhance consultation
on issues relating to the fundamental interests
of the two sides in the spirit of mutual trust.

France fully recognizes the importance and
sensitivity of the Tibet issue and reaffirms its
adherence to the one-China policy and the
position that Tibet is an integral part of the
Chinese territory, in accordance with the
decision made by General Charles de Gaulle, which
has not changed and will remain unchanged. Based
on this spirit and the principle of
non-interference, France refuses to support any form of Tibet’s independence.

The two sides hold the view that in the context
of profound changes in the international
political and economic situation, China and
France, both as permanent members of the UN
Security Council, shoulder major responsibilities
in maintaining world peace and promoting
development. The two sides stand ready to
strengthen dialogue and coordination and jointly
respond to global challenges including the international financial crisis.

Acting in this spirit, the two sides decided to
conduct high-level contact and strategic dialogue
at a proper time to enhance bilateral cooperation
in various fields and promote the harmonious and
steady growth of China-France relations.

SOURCE in
French:  www.diplomatie.gouv.fr  (French Foreign Ministry’s web site )
This French to English translation proof read by Bureau du Tibet, Paris.

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