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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."

Tibet campaigners urge G20 leaders to tackle crisis in Tibet

September 9, 2013

September 4, 2013 - On the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first major multilateral summit, Tibet campaigners from around the world are delivering the message “Unite for Tibet”, and calling on world leaders to jointly tackle Xi Jinping, over his Party’s 60-year occupation of Tibet and appalling human rights abuses, during the G20 summit in St Petersburg (5 and 6 September).
“As Xi Jinping prepares to take the stage at his first G20 summit, alongside leaders representing the largest and most influential democracies in the world, Tibetans are literally dying for freedom,” said Tenzin Jigme of the International Tibet Network. “It’s time for G20 leaders to jointly hold Xi Jinping accountable for his failed policies in Tibet. After almost a year at the helm of China’s Communist Party, Xi has overseen a worsening crackdown in Tibet. A new global approach is needed with like-minded Governments standing together for Tibet.”
With Tibetans increasingly demonstrating their resistance to China’s rule through protests, cultural resistance and the drastic act of self-immolation, the need for Governments to stand together in addressing the crisis in Tibet is ever more urgent. More than 120 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet, the latest such instance being an 18 year-old monk named Kunchok Sonam, who died following his protest on 20 July 2013 in Ngaba, eastern Tibet.
Around the world, campaigners have delivered copies of an updated report “Unite for Tibet” to G20 governments. Coordinated by the International Tibet Network, the report clearly illustrates the abject failure of the current policy to address China’s occupation of Tibet through bilateral approaches. It questions why Governments bow to China’s blatant bullying tactics whenever Governments and leaders decide to meet Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and challenges the widely-held view that angering China over Tibet will lead to onerous economic and diplomatic penalties, contending that most of China’s punitive reactions are more hot air than genuinely damaging in the long-term.
“The majority of G20 Governments have repeatedly expressed concerns over China’s extreme repression in Tibet – it's high time for like-minded leaders to develop common approaches and policies that Beijing cannot ignore,” said Kyinzom Dhongdue, Australia Tibet Council. “The combined voices the world’s most prominent leaders can save Tibetan lives and secure greater concessions from China; paving the road for a peaceful resolution to one of the world’s most long-standing injustices.”
The report demonstrates that Governments that have angered China over Tibet have, nonetheless, seen their exports to China at the very least hold up, if not increase in the aftermath. Tibet campaigners argue that high level bilateral visits ultimately deliver only a small proportion of the trade deals trumpeted in the press, and express the view that proactive concessions to China rarely buy much in the way of long-term goodwill.
“China needs the world as much as the world needs China. The hard numbers show that meeting with the Dalai Lama and pressing China’s leaders on Tibet does not negatively impact trade relations,” said Kate Woznow, Students for a Free Tibet. “By uniting together for Tibet, G20 nations can send a clear message to China that the bullying of its members and other nations is unacceptable, whilst continuing to uphold their shared democratic principles. Amidst  the pomp and ceremony of this G20 summit, there will rightly be concern about human rights crises around world, but the need for multilateral diplomatic action on Tibet is now critical.”
China’s crackdown in Tibet has intensified in recent months, including a sweeping campaign to criminalize relatives and friends of those self-immolating, and the use of brutal force against peaceful gatherings of Tibetans.

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