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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China postpones EU-China Summit over Dalai Lama meetings

November 28, 2008

ICT Pess Release
November 26, 2008

Brussels --Beijing has postponed the EU-China Summit due to be held
in Lyon, France on December 1 due to its displeasure over the Dalai
Lama's visits to several European countries from November 29,
including a meeting with French President Sarkozy in Gdansk, Poland
and an address to the European Parliament in Brussels.

Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director of the International Campaign for
Tibet, said: "Beijing's decision to take such a disproportionate
action would appear to be counter productive to its own interests and
risks damaging European confidence in China as a responsible partner.
Beijing cannot escape the reality that the EU, the United States and
the United Nations all have serious concerns about the political and
human rights situation in Tibet and respect the Dalai Lama's
leadership and his willingness to engage with China."

China's decision to postpone the meeting was announced to European
ambassadors in Beijing a few days ago, and it appears that the
meeting with French President Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama in Gdansk on
December 6 is of particular concern. Despite strong pressure from
Beijing, this meeting has not been cancelled.

The EU has responded to the Chinese decision with regret as "the EU
had set ambitious objectives for the 11th EU-China Summit." The 5th
EU-China Business Summit was also planned to take place in the
margins of the political summit in Lyon. China has publicly announced
the postponement of the summit in the same week the EU is holding its
Legal Experts Seminar and Human Rights dialogue with China in Beijing.

Vincent Metten said: "We recognize that the EU and the French
President must have come under extreme pressure from the Chinese
government over the last few weeks but, nonetheless, have stood by
their decision to meet with the Dalai Lama. In doing so, they have
signaled that the EU relationship with China is serious and
substantial and should not be subjected to bullying."

On 4 December, the Dalai Lama has been invited to speak at the
plenary session of the European Parliament in the framework of the
European Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Press contact:
Kate Saunders
Communications Director, ICT
Tel: +91 97 1768 7756
Tel: +44 7947 138612
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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