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2010-12 Tibet in Parliament (part 2) PDF Print E-mail
Parliament logoDetails and links of when and how Tibet was raised in the UK parliament during the 2010-12 parliamentary session (commenced 25 May 2010, ended 1 May 2012).

Index
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23 April 2012: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Fiona Bruce (Congleton, Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if officials from his Department will hold discussions with the Chinese government in respect of working with local monasteries and communities to resolve the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials raised our concerns in relation to the situation in Tibet with Chinese officials at the latest round of the UK-China human rights dialogue on 10 January 2012.

On 25 January I released a statement regarding the shooting of Tibetan protestors by Chinese security forces, urging the Chinese Government to exercise restraint, to release full details of the incidents, and to work to resolve the underlying grievances.

We will continue to seek appropriate opportunities to raise our concerns and to encourage the Chinese authorities to work with local monasteries and communities to resolve the underlying grievances of the Tibetan people.

Fiona Bruce (Congleton, Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his Department will take the lead in organising an international government forum on the issue of Tibet.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We believe that the issue of Tibet is best addressed through meaningful dialogue between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese authorities. We work closely in the European Union and with other nations to encourage this.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials raised Tibet at the latest round of the UK-China human rights dialogue on 10 January 2012, and I raised my concerns with the Chinese ambassador on 31 January 2012.

On 7 December 2011, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham), made a full statement regarding the Government's human rights concerns in Tibet, in response to a Westminster Hall debate.

Our consistent position has been that long term stability can only be achieved through respect for human rights and genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution.

Fiona Bruce (Congleton, Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when officials from his Department last visited the Tibetan region; and what the outcomes were of that visit.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Officials from our embassy in Beijing and our Consulate General in Chongqing regularly visit Tibetan areas of China. The most recent visit was this month.

In the past 12 months they have visited Tibetan areas of Qinghai and Gansu province (April 2012); Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province (October 2011); Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province (September 2011); and Tibetan areas of Qinghai and the Tibetan Autonomous Region (April 2011).

Additionally, an official was denied entry to the Aba and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture when he tried to visit in February 2012.

These field visits have found evidence that some Tibetans are benefiting from rapid economic development and subsidies but that tensions and the security presence in many Tibetan areas remain high. We continue to seek opportunities to encourage the Chinese authorities to work for sustainable stability and prosperity in Tibet through respect for human rights and an ongoing and constructive dialogue.

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23 April 2012: House of Lords Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of Tibetans who have self-immolated in the last 12 months; what reports they have received regarding the self-immolation of a youth in Delhi on 26 March; and what discussions they have had with the Government of China regarding the situation of the Tibetan people.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Since 16 March 2011 there have been 21 immolations confirmed by the Chinese state media.

We have also seen reports about Jamphel Yeshi, who self-immolated at a protest in New Delhi on 26 March and died on 28 March.

I raised our concerns about the situation in Tibet with the Deputy Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Hao Peng, on 7 December.

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne) raised concerns about self-immolations with Vice Foreign Minister Madame Fu Ying during his visit to China in November last year. Mr Browne also wrote to the Chinese Ambassador regarding the situation at Kirti Monastery and called for restraint. He made a statement on 25 January following reports of shootings of protesters in Tibetan areas, calling for restraint, and for a resolution of underlying grievances.

Officials in London have also raised their concerns with the Chinese Embassy in London, and staff at our Embassy in Beijing with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant provincial authorities. Our officials in China make regular visits to Tibetan areas. We remain in frequent contact with the relevant authorities regarding access to these areas.

This issue was also discussed at the annual UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in January.

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17 April 2012: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire, Lib Dem): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will raise with the Chinese government the number of self-immolation cases in Tibet and surrounding provinces.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): I raised my concerns about self-immolations with Vice Foreign Minister Madame Fu Ying during my visit to China in November last year. I also wrote to the Chinese ambassador regarding the situation at Kirti Monastery and called for restraint. I made a statement on 25 January following reports of shootings of protesters in Tibetan areas, calling for restraint, and for resolution of underlying grievances.

The right hon. Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, raised our concerns about the situation in Tibet with the Deputy Party Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Region, Hao Peng, on 7 December.

Officials in London have also raised their concerns with the Chinese embassy here, and staff at our embassy in Beijing have done likewise with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant provincial authorities. Our officials in China make regular visits to Tibetan areas. We remain in frequent contact with the relevant authorities regarding access to these areas.

This issue was also discussed at the annual UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in January.

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EDM 2715: Deteriorating Human Rights in Tibet
08.02.2012, tabled by Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab)
That this House strongly condemns the Chinese security forces' unwarranted use of force including opening fire on unarmed demonstrators to quash peaceful protests in Tibet; is greatly saddened by the loss of life both of Tibetans who were shot and killed whilst protesting and the instances where Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation in an effort to draw attention to the ongoing repression by the Chinese authorities; is alarmed by the imposition of de facto martial law in Tibetan regions, the restriction of movement for Tibetans and the complete ban on foreign media; calls on the Prime Minister to make a public statement of concern on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet; further calls on the Government to urge the Chinese government to ease tensions by withdrawing its armed forces from Tibetan areas, to release full details of all incidents involving its forces opening fire upon civilians and to give foreign journalists, humanitarian agencies and independent observers full and unfettered access to Tibetan areas to ascertain the current situation; and further calls on the Government to work with other governments to safeguard Tibetans' rights and interests and instigate a multilateral approach whereby international governments together urge the Chinese government to enter into immediate and unconditional negotiations with representatives of the Tibetan people in order to resolve the Tibetans' underlying grievances.

Click [here] to see if your MP signed this EDM.
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7 February 2012: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet: Human Rights
Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the government of China on the welfare of Dhondup Wangchen.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Mr Dhondup Wangchen's case was included in a list of individual cases of concern that the UK delegation handed over to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Special Representative on human rights, Qi Xiaoxia, at the 20th Round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in January this year. Mr Wangchen's case has appeared in previous caselists handed over to the Chinese government. We have yet to receive a satisfactory response to our request for information on his case.

We will continue to monitor Mr Wangchen's case closely, and raise it with the Chinese authorities at suitable opportunities.

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13 December 2011: House of Lords Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China
Lord Patten (Con): To ask Her Majesty's Government how many journalists they estimate are imprisoned for reasons connected to journalism in China.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Reporters without Borders's Press Freedom Barometer 2011 estimates that 30 journalists are currently imprisoned in China, while the Committee to Protect Journalists puts the figure at 27. Most of these cases involve charges such as inciting subversion of state power, inciting separatism, endangering national security or divulging state secrets.

We believe that greater freedom of the media is strongly in China's own interests. We monitor these issues closely and have raised a number of cases of concern regarding imprisoned journalists and bloggers in our regular human rights dialogue with the Chinese Government.

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7 December 2011: House of Commons Hansard Debate: Tibet
Simon Hughes (Bermondsey and Old Southwark, LD): Thank you, Mr Gale, and thank you to Mr Speaker for choosing this subject - in Tibetan, thuk-je-che: thank you.

At this time of year, we can probably have no debate more appropriate than one about Tibet, given that United Nations human rights day is commemorated this coming Saturday, 10 December. I am grateful for the opportunity to raise an issue that has often been a subject of debate in this House.

As I have declared in the Register of Members Financial Interests, two months ago, at the beginning of October, at the invitation of the Tibet Society and the Tibetan Government-in-exile, I went to Dharamsala in India with the hon. Members for Leeds North East (Fabian Hamilton), for Scunthorpe (Nic Dakin), for North Wiltshire (Mr Gray) and for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Cathy Jamieson), all of whom I am happy to call my hon. Friends. The five of us spent four informative days together in Dharamsala, during which time we were privileged to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama, other people in the Tibetan Government-in-exile and many others.

The reason why the debate is as appropriate as ever is that, sadly, in recent weeks there has been an outbreak of self-immolation - suicide - among nuns and monks in Tibet, and it has caught the attention of the world. This year, on 31 October, my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds North East tabled early-day motion 2327, expressing great sadness at the disturbing news of 10 incidents of self-immolation in eastern Tibet by young Tibetan monks, former monks and a nun. Since then there has been a further death. Those people, in monasteries mainly in Ngaba in Tibet, have been setting themselves alight as a protest against their inability to express their faith and their allegiance to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They have drawn the sympathy of the world...(continues)
Click here to read full debate

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29 November 2011: House of Commons Hansard Oral Answers to Questions: Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe, Lab): What representations he has made to the Chinese Government following recent self-immolations in Tibet.

William Hague (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne), raised our concerns about the increasing number of self-immolations in Tibetan areas with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister in Beijing earlier this month.

Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe, Lab): I advise the House of my entry in the Register of Members Financial Interests.

Recently, I met the Dalai Lama, who made clear his concern that all involved should work for a peaceful solution in line with the middle way. Does he share that approach?

William Hague (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): We are seriously concerned about recent reports that young monks and nuns in Tibetan areas of Szechuan province have immolated themselves. As I said, we have taken that up with the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister, and with the Chinese embassy in London. We encourage, of course, the resolution of grievances that have led to that situation. We will continue to encourage the Chinese Government to take that constructive approach.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington, Con): As the Chinese Government have been able to recognise and respect the autonomy of both Hong Kong and Macau in the Peoples Republic, should they not allow autonomy for Tibet, to ensure that, within the Peoples Republic, its unique culture and identity are properly respected and recognised, and will the Government try to encourage it to do so?

William Hague (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): My right hon. and learned Friend makes a very fair point indeed. As he knows, we recognise Tibet as part of the Peoples Republic of China, but we call for meaningful dialogue between the representatives of the Dalai Lama and the Chinese authorities in the interests of autonomy in future. Of course, we always call for respect for human rights.

Martin Horwood (Cheltenham, Lib Dem): I am sure that the Foreign Secretary welcomed Chinas recent recognition of the aspirations and rightful demands of the Syrian people. Does he think that that is a positive development, as China may be beginning to realise that repression does not deliver genuine stability, and it should have the confidence to recognise the aspirations and rightful demands of the Tibetan people, too?

William Hague (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): Such language is positive and I continue to believe, as I said in the House yesterday, that the veto of our proposed UN resolution on Syria by Russia and China was a mistake and did not take into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria. On the question of Tibet, we encourage the meaningful dialogue of which I spoke a moment ago.
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10 November 2011: House of Commons Hansard: Business of the House
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): Over the past few weeks, 12 Tibetan nuns and monks have set fire to themselves in protest at the treatment of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people in China. Lhamo Tso, the wife of the acclaimed film maker Dhondup Wangchen, who is currently serving six years in prison for making a film about the abuse of human rights in Tibet, is currently in the United Kingdom to draw attention to the plight of her husband, who only exercised his right to free speech under the Chinese constitution. Will the Leader of the House make time for a statement or a debate on human rights abuses in Tibet?

Sir George Young (North West Hampshire, Con): The hon. Gentleman makes a forceful case and rightly draws attention to the abuse of human rights. I cannot promise time for a debate, but perhaps he would like to apply for an Adjournment debate so that we can debate this issue at greater length and so that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary or another Foreign Office Minister can outline the representations that we are making to seek to end these injustices.
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1 November 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet: Human Rights
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Government of China on (a) the human rights situation in Tibet and (b) the well-being of Lobsang Kalsang, Lobsang Konchok and Kalsang Wangchuk; and if he will make a statement.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Tibet was discussed at the last round of the UK-China Human Rights dialogue in January 2011, and the dialogue also included an expert workshop on minority rights and languages, an area of particular relevance to Tibet. Ministers have regularly raised our concerns about the human rights situation in Tibet with China at the highest political levels.

We are particularly concerned at recent reports that a nun and young monks, including Lobsang Kalsang, Lobsang Konchock and Kalsang Wangchuk, in Tibetan areas of Sichuan province have self-immolated. I have written to the Chinese ambassador in April this year raising my concerns regarding the situation at the Kirti monastery. More recently Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have raised their concerns with the Chinese embassy in London and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, urging the Chinese Government to work with local monasteries and communities to resolve the grievances which have led to these self-immolations. Our embassy officials in China make regular visits to Tibetan areas, and have done so recently. We have kept in frequent contact with the Foreign Affairs Office in Sichuan and local Public Security Bureau offices regarding access to these areas.

Our consistent position has been that long-term stability can only be achieved through respect for human rights and genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution. Meaningful dialogue between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese authorities is the best way to make this happen.
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EDM 2327: Self-immolations in Tibet
31.10.2011, tabled by 
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab)
That this House is greatly saddened by the disturbing news of 10 incidents of self-immolation in eastern Tibet by young Tibetan monks, former monks and a nun, five tragically losing their lives; condemns the Chinese government's ongoing repression in Tibet that serves to exacerbate the frustration and desperation felt by the Tibetan people; calls on the Prime Minister to make a public statement of concern about this grave situation; and further calls on the Government to make urgent representations to the Chinese government to urge that it takes measures to ease the situation by withdrawing its troops from Kirti monastery, to verify the condition and whereabouts of the monks who have disappeared since self-immolating, to allow international independent observers to visit the region and to respect the fundamental human rights of the Tibetan people including the right freely to practise their religion.

Click [here] to see if your MP signed this EDM.
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31 October 2011: House of Lords Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have discussed the recent self-immolations by Buddhist monks and a nun in Tibet with the Government of China.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We are seriously concerned at recent reports that young monks in Tibetan areas of Sichuan Province have immolated themselves.

My honourable friend the Minister of State, Jeremy Browne, wrote to the Chinese ambassador earlier this year raising his concerns regarding the situation at the Kirti Monastery. More recently officials have raised their concerns with the Chinese embassy in London and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, urging the Chinese Government to work with local monasteries and communities to resolve the grievances which have led to these self-immolations. Our embassy officials in China make regular visits to Tibetan areas, and have done so recently. We remain in frequent contact with the Foreign Affairs Office in Sichuan and local Public Security Bureau offices regarding access to these areas.
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25 October 2011: House of Commons Hansard Oral Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Topical Questions
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): I should like to declare an interest.
Following the self-immolation of nine Tibetan monks in the past few weeks, what representations have the British Government made to the Chinese authorities to stop the consistent and systematic eradication of Tibetan culture, religion and language, and to give the Tibetan people their much needed and correct desire for self-determination?

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Government continue to have the same policy as the previous Government with regard to Tibets position in China, but we still make representations on a regular basis with respect to human rights and the conditions of the Tibetan people.
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4 July 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China: Diplomatic Service
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of diplomatic staff in China work in (a) trade, (b) human rights and (c) general diplomatic roles.

Alistair Burt:
The following table gives the approximate number of Foreign and Commonwealth Office employees at each post in mainland China and Hong Kong for the fourth quarter of financial year 2010-11. These figures include UK-based civil servants and staff employed locally.
Beijing - 190
Chongqing - 35
Guangzhou - 60
Shanghai - 60
Hong Kong - 100
Note: Posts with fewer than 100 staff are rounded up to the nearest 5 and those with 100 or more are rounded up to the nearest 10. For operational and security reasons, we cannot provide a more detailed breakdown.
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30 June 2011: House of Lords Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the nature of the 50 new diplomatic posts in China, announced in Parliament on 11 May; whether any of the posts will be dedicated to monitoring human rights in China and Tibet; and what is the current ratio of diplomatic staff in China working on trade, human rights and general diplomatic roles respectively.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Following the Foreign Secretary's Oral Statement on 11 May 2011, (Official Report, Commons, cols. 1165-80) we are working to put in place the announced increase in front-line staff in our China network.
The up to 50 additional officials will include both UK-based and locally engaged staff. They will be deployed to reinforce our existing network in China, and to strengthen our engagement with the regions and cities outside those where we have our embassy and consulates.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the report by Freedom House on Tibet; and what is the capacity within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to monitor human rights in Tibet.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)The Government share many of the concerns about political rights and civil liberties for Tibetan people highlighted in Freedom House's report on Tibet. In particular, as described in the 2010 Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Human Rights Command paper, we share their concerns about restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism and the use of patriotic education campaigns.

More recently we have been concerned by reports of the crackdown at the Kirti monastery in a Tibetan area of Sichuan province. We have raised these concerns both with the Chinese embassy in London and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, asking for information and calling for restraint. Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State, my honourable friend Jeremy Browne, wrote to the Chinese ambassador on 3 May, raising his concerns about recent human rights developments, including the situation at Kirti monastery.

Human rights in Tibet are monitored by members of the Asia Pacific Directorate, which we are in the process of reinforcing.

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29 June 2011: House of Lords Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of recent events in Ngaba, eastern Tibet; and whether they have made representations to the Government of China to withdraw their armed forces from the monastery and the town of Ngaba, to release all those detained, and to allow access to the monastery and to the region for international observers and journalists.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We are deeply concerned by reports of violence at the Kirti monastery in a Tibetan area of Sichuan Province. We have raised these concerns both with the Chinese embassy in London and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing. My honourable friend Jeremy Browne, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote to the Chinese ambassador on 3 May raising our concerns about recent human rights developments in China, including the situation at Kirti monastery.

At the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 16 June, the EU statement called on the Chinese authorities to refrain from the use of force in dealing with the situation at the Kirti monastery, and to allow independent observers to the site. Officials in our embassy in Beijing and in our consulate in Chongqing will continue to press for access to Tibet and Tibetan regions.
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EDM 2009: Actions of Chinese Troops in Ngaba, Tibet
29.06.2011, tabled by 
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab) (27 signatories)
That this House condemns the use of violence to quash a peaceful demonstration by monks and lay people in Ngaba, Tibet that has resulted in the deaths of two elderly local residents; further condemns the cordoning off of the local Kirti monastery, the political re-education of its monks and the disappearance of 300 monks; also voices grave concern about the continued high level of troops in the area, effectively putting the town under martial law; and calls on the Prime Minister to make a public statement about this grave situation to reinforce the requests made by the EU China delegation for further information on the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared monks and for an independent representative to visit Ngaba to validate the current situation.

Click [here] to see if your MP signed this EDM.
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28 June 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China: Tibet
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of China to withdraw its armed forces from the monastery and town of Ngaba, Tibet, release all those detained and allow access to the monastery and region for international observers and journalists; and if he will make a statement.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We are deeply concerned by reports of violence at the Kirti Monastery in a Tibetan area of Sichuan Province. We have raised these concerns both with the Chinese embassy in London and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, asking for information and calling for restraint. I wrote to the Chinese ambassador on 3 May 2011 raising my concerns at recent human rights developments in China, including the situation at Kirti Monastery. At the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 16 June 2011, the EU statement called on the Chinese authorities to refrain from the use of force in dealing with the situation at the Kirti monastery, and to allow independent observers to the site. Officials in our embassy in Beijing and in our consulate in Chongqing will continue to press for access to Tibet and Tibetan regions. We remain committed to engagement with China on human rights. Long term stability in Tibet can only be achieved through respect for human rights and genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution. We believe that meaningful dialogue between the Dalai Lama's representatives and the Chinese authorities is the best way to make this happen.
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28 June 2011: House of Commons Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China: Diplomatic Service
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the statement of 11 May 2011, Official Report, columns 1165-8, on the future diplomatic network, what the (a) purpose and (b) duties are of the new diplomatic posts in China; and whether any such posts will be dedicated to monitoring human rights in China and Tibet.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Following the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague)'s oral statement to the House on 11 May 2011, (Official Report, columns 1165-8), we are working to put in place the announced increase in frontline staff in our China network. The additional officials (up to 50) will include both UK based and locally engaged staff. They will be deployed to reinforce our existing network in China, and to strengthen our engagement with the regions and cities outside those where we have our embassy and consulates. All our missions in China monitor and raise human rights with host countries, as do all our missions overseas.

Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will consider the merits of recruiting a desk officer with responsibility for monitoring Tibet as part of his new diplomatic frontline staff for China.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): Our embassy in Beijing and our consulate in Chongqing already have officers whose job description includes responsibility for monitoring developments in Tibet. These teams are among those that will be reinforced as part of the planned increase in frontline staff.
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28 June 2011: House of Commons Written Answers: Cabinet Office: Dalai Lama
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab): To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office for what reason the UK representative of the Dalai Lama was not invited to a reception hosted by the Minister without Portfolio on 13 June 2011.

Francis Maude (Horsham, Con): The noble Lady Baroness Warsi hosted a celebratory reception for over 120 representatives of different faiths, organisations and Buddhist traditions in recognition of the contribution that the Buddhist community makes to the United Kingdom. The Dalai Lama's representative was not included in the list of diplomatic invitees because he does not have diplomatic status.

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6 June 2011: House of Lords Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China Human Rights
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the transparency of the United Kingdom-China human rights dialogue; and what impact they attribute to transparency in promoting the effectiveness of the dialogue.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office values the experience and expertise of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and other civil society organisations and the input they can provide to our human rights work. The Minister of State, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne), met a group of NGOs specialising in China human rights issues in October 2010 and he has agreed to hold these meetings on a more regular basis, particularly in advance of future UK-China human rights dialogues. The meetings will provide the NGOs with a forum to raise suggestions and concerns in the context of the dialogue.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to broaden the United Kingdom-China human rights dialogue to involve expert non-governmental organisations, representatives from civil society in the United Kingdom and representatives of the Tibetan and Uyghur communities in exile.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office values the experience and expertise of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society organisations and the input they provide to our human rights work. The UK delegation to the most recent round of the dialogue in January 2011 included representatives from UK civil society and academia, who participated in both the expert workshop and the main plenary. The Minister of State, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne), met a group of NGOs specialising in China human rights issues in October 2010 and he has agreed to hold these meetings on a more regular basis, particularly in advance of future UK-China Human Rights dialogues. The meetings will provide NGOs with a forum to feed in ideas and raise concerns in the context of the dialogue.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what benchmarks they use to assess progress in the United Kingdom-China human rights dialogue; whether such benchmarks and the details of subjects discussed are published; and, if not, why not.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)The UK-China Human Rights dialogue is a key part of our engagement with China on human rights. The dialogue focuses on building long-term momentum for change. In each round of the UK-China Human Rights dialogue we aim to build on the key principles which underpin respect for human rights, and on the areas China will need to address in order to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This includes the rights of detainees, migrant rights, capital punishment, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the situation in Tibet and Xinjiang, and co-operation with international human rights mechanisms. We seek to be as transparent as possible in our human rights work. However, the effective conduct of the UK's international relations depends upon maintaining the trust and confidence of other governments. Our aim in the UK-China Human Rights dialogue is to achieve a free and frank exchange of information between the two governments and their experts. These exchanges are based on the understanding that they will be treated in confidence.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government when the next round of United Kingdom-China Human Rights dialogue will take place; and what issues and cases they intend to raise.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)We have not yet agreed dates for the next round of the UK-China Human Rights dialogue with China. Although topics for the dialogue have not yet been decided, we aim in each round to build on the key principles which underpin respect for human rights, and on the areas China will need to address in order to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). We also raise individual cases of concern.
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5 May 2011: House of Lords Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of allegations of human rights violations of Tibetan Monks by Chinese authorities at Kirti Monastery, Sichuan, reported in The Economist on 24 April; whether they have made representations to the People's Republic of China on this matter; and, if so, what was their response.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)We are deeply concerned by recent reports of violence at the Kirti Monastery. We have raised these concerns both with the Chinese embassy in London and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Beijing, asking for information and calling for restraint. The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my honourable friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne) has written to the Chinese ambassador raising his concerns at recent human rights developments in China, including the situation at Kirti Monastery. The letter calls on all parties to exercise restraint, so that violence is avoided and human rights are respected. Our embassy in Beijing has also written to the MFA's special representative on human rights along the same lines.
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16 March 2011: House of Commons Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet Politics and Government
Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions issues relating to Tibet have been raised with the government of China by staff of his Department in the last 12 months.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials have regularly raised the issue of Tibet with the Government of China. During 2010 FCO staff visited the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), where they had meetings with local officials and raised issues relating to China's treatment of its ethnic minorities, and Tibetan areas of Sichuan and Gansu provinces. Staff have pressed for better access to the TAR by diplomats and foreign journalists. In the last 12 months FCO staff have been consistent in signalling the UK's hopes for a positive outcome to talks with the Dalai Lama. We have consistently expressed concern over the numbers of Tibetans in detention in TAR, Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai in relation to the March 2008 unrest and the related death sentences. Officials have also expressed concern over cultural rights and religious freedom in Tibet. In 2011 FCO officials used the 19th round of the UK-China human rights dialogue to raise our concerns regarding the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people, and urged China to renew its dialogue with the Dalai Lama. We continue to monitor the situation in Tibet carefully.
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15 March 2011: House of Commons Hansard Oral Answers:  China Human Rights
Barbara Keeley (Worsley & Eccles South, Lab): The Tibetan Government-in-exile are debating the Dalai Lama's retirement as their political leader. Will the Foreign Secretary update the House on what support the British Government would give to a newly elected political leader of the Tibetan people in the just cause of gaining greater autonomy for Tibet, given that he has outlined this Government's support for newly elected leaders in North Africa?

William Hague (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs): This Government continue the policy adopted by the previous Government on the status of Tibet. We await further details on what has been announced by the Dalai Lama in respect of an elected leader in the future. We will have to see the details of that before we respond to it in any greater detail.
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15 March 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet Politics and Government 
Angie Bray (Ealing Central & Acton): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions his Department has had with the Chinese government on the arrests and imprisonment of Tibetans involved in the 2008 protests.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)Ministers and officials continue to raise human rights concerns in their discussions with Chinese counterparts. We raised the issue of Tibet with the Chinese delegation at the UK/China Human Rights Dialogue in January 2011, expressing concern about the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people and urging China to renew its dialogue with the Dalai Lama. During the dialogue, we raised a number of individual cases of concern with the Chinese delegation, including those of Tibetans involved in the 2008 riots.
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15 March 2011: House of Lords Hansard Oral Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China Human Rights
Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB): To ask Her Majesty's Government what benchmarks they use to assess progress in the United Kingdom-China human rights dialogue; whether such benchmarks and the details of subjects discussed are published; and, if not, why not.

Lord Howell of Guildford (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)The UK-China Human Rights dialogue is a key part of our engagement with China on human rights. The dialogue focuses on building long-term momentum for change. In each round of the UK-China Human Rights dialogue we aim to build on the key principles which underpin respect for human rights, and on the areas China will need to address in order to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This includes the rights of detainees, migrant rights, capital punishment, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, the situation in Tibet and Xinjiang, and co-operation with international human rights mechanisms.
We seek to be as transparent as possible in our human rights work. However, the effective conduct of the UK's international relations depends upon maintaining the trust and confidence of other governments. Our aim in the UK-China Human Rights dialogue is to achieve a free and frank exchange of information between the two governments and their experts. These exchanges are based on the understanding that they will be treated in confidence.

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8 March 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury, Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the constitutional status of Tibet.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Government recognise Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China.
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2 March 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet
Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West & Abingdon, Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to review his policy on Tibet.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)The Government recognise Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. There are no plans to review this policy.
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EDM 1434: Arrests in Tibet 
09.02.2011, tabled by 
Fabian Hamilton (Leeds North East, Lab) (58 signatories)
That this House notes the deepening crackdown inside Tibet that is curtailing basic freedoms of expression through arbitrary arrest and torture of Tibetans, both intellectuals and ordinary citizens, who have publicly expressed their views and communicated news on local issues via emails, text messages, blogs, magazine articles and songs; further notes that the level of penalties being meted out to those Tibetans arrested and charged for such low-level information sharing are among the most severe in the world and that this crackdown on freedom of speech and opinion is being used by the Chinese government as a mechanism to silence any criticism of their policies in Tibet; therefore calls on the Government to make strong and direct representations to the Chinese government to observe the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to uphold the principles of freedom of expression and opinion and to develop a timeframe of adherence; and further calls on the Government to urge the Chinese government immediately to release these Tibetan prisoners of conscience.
Click [here] to see if your MP signed this EDM.
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8 February 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet Human Rights
Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington, Lib Dem): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect on the human rights situation in Tibet of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue since its inception.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The Government continue to monitor the situation in Tibet carefully and use the dialogue to raise their concerns. The dialogue is one part of the Government's wider, comprehensive strategy of engagement with China on human rights issues, which includes our support for project work on the ground in China and ministerial engagement with the Chinese Government at the highest political levels.
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8 February 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet Human Rights
Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Kilburn, Lab): To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2011, Official Report, column 195W, on Tibet: human rights, what the response was of Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on the issue of human rights in Tibet.

The Deputy Prime Minister:
When I met Vice Premier Li, I reiterated the Government's policy on Tibet. I made clear that we have concerns about the protection of human rights in China and in Tibet specifically. Vice Premier Li said that China was working towards ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and recognized the universality of human rights. But national conditions had to be taken into account. He said that significant reform was under way in China but that progress in these areas would take time.

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7 February 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China Human Rights
Julian Huppert (Cambridge, Lib Dem): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he plans to take following the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on the issue of human rights in China and Tibet.

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): We will take a number of steps to follow up the 13-14 January 2011 UK-China human rights dialogue. We will work to develop the links built between UK and Chinese policymakers and experts at the dialogue. We will proactively explore opportunities for follow-up work on the dialogue's two themes, "the role of police in criminal trials" and "minority languages in education". And we will continue to press China to make progress on specific human rights issues, including the situation in Tibet. The human rights dialogue is just one strand of our continuing engagement with China on human rights. Our project work on human rights in China received 1.5 million of funding in the period 2008-11. This has covered a range of issues, including criminal justice reform and the death penalty. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs have all raised human rights in their meetings with Chinese Ministers since assuming office, and we will continue to take forward dialogue at this level.
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25 January 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Tibet Human Rights
Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Kilburn, Lab): To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he raised the issue of human rights in Tibet during the recent visit of the Chinese Vice-Premier. 

The Deputy Prime Minister:
In my meeting with Vice-Premier Li, I raised the issue of human rights in Tibet.

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24 January 2011: House of Commons Hansard Written Answers: Foreign and Commonwealth Office: China Human Rights
Kate Hoey (Vauxhall, Lab): To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what issues were discussed at the recent UK-China Human Rights Dialogue; and whether any commitments were given on human rights in Tibet by the Chinese delegation?

Jeremy Browne (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office): The UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 13-14 January 2011 involved discussions on the full range of human rights issues. This included the rights of detainees, migrant rights, capital punishment, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, China's plans for ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the situation in Tibet and Xinjiang and a number of individual cases. There were also detailed expert discussions on the role of police in criminal trials and the use of minority languages in education. The Chinese delegation did not give us any commitments on human rights in Tibet.
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Tibet in Parliament (by parliamentary session):

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