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18th Party Congress

The Chinese Communist Party's 18th Congress, held in Beijing November 8-14, 2012, marked a key power transition in China. A new generation of leaders, headed by Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, took over from the previous leadership headed by Hu Jintao. The Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee was reduced in number from nine to seven. Unlike his predecessor Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao handed over both the Party General Secretary and Chairman of the Central Military Commission positions to Xi.  


China says no to foreign rights monitors for Tibet

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 8:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 November, 2012, 8:23pm

China will not allow foreign observers into restive Tibet to probe human rights abuses, an official said on Friday, dismissing mounting international pressure for an independent investigation in the troubled mountainous region.

Some 68 Tibetans have set themselves on fire since March last year in protest against Chinese rule over Tibetan regions. At least 56 have died, according to Tibetan rights groups.

At least eight of the self-immolations had been reported in the Tibet Autonomous Region, a province-level administrative area under the central government. The rest occurred in Tibetan-populated areas of other provinces in southwestern China.

The United Nations’ most senior human rights official, Navi Pillay, urged China last week to allow independent human rights monitors to visit Tibet and address deep-rooted frustrations.

But a top Chinese-appointed official said this would not happen.

“We hope that (people) from all fields within the country and outside go to Tibet often to look around, study and travel, but as to some other aspects, we are not that welcoming,” said Qiangba Puncog, chairman of Tibet’s rubber stamp regional assembly.

“(Those) who think there are any problems in Tibet, human rights problems, arrogantly wanting to pursue investigations, to use these situations to propose entering Tibet, (I’m) afraid we feel it’s inappropriate,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a Communist Party congress.

The remarks come as the Tibet-government-in-exile said thousands of Tibetan students took to the streets on Friday in Rebkong county in eastern Qinghai province after a Tibetan youth burned himself to death on Thursday.

A total of seven Tibetans have set fire to themselves in the past six days, according to Tibetan rights group International Campaign for Tibet, the highest frequency of self-immolations since the wave of anti-China demonstrations began.

China has barred foreign journalists from Tibet and prevented many others from travelling to surrounding Tibetan regions, making independent verification difficult.

Qiangba Puncog, however, told a room packed with reporters that “(we) welcome all of you to go to Tibet to see Tibet’s real situation. Listening is false, seeing is believing.” He did not say when foreign reporters may be allowed back in.

China has branded the self-immolators “terrorists” and criminals and has blamed exiled Tibetans and the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, for inciting them, charges he denies.

“External Tibetan separatist forces and the Dalai clique are sacrificing the lives of others to achieve ulterior political motives,” Lobsang Gyaltsen, Tibet’s deputy governor, said.

“We believe that this is contrary to humanity’s common conscience and morality, (they) will never achieve their evil purposes and will also suffer intense condemnation,” he said.

The self-immolations have been concentrated around six to seven monasteries out of more than 10,000 in the region, Qiangba Puncog said.

Beijing considers Nobel peace laureate the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, a separatist. The Dalai Lama says he merely seeks greater autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.


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This article is now closed to comments

Whilst there is no human rights in China, there is at least freedom of speech to certain extent. Even such limited right is deprieved from the Tibetans with arbitrary arrests happening often. It is common knowledge that if a copy of photo of DL is found in one's household in TAR, imprisonment is certain. Old ladies are put into month-long "re-education camps" if found secretly crossed border in Nepal to visit monasteries and "Living Buddha" there. Since June this year, Tibetan pilgrims from outside of TAR on way to Lhasa were not allowed to enter the region ... One has to go to Tibet staying for a while to know and get a feel of the atmosphere of suppression there.
The WEST doesn't block, delete, censor or keep out human rights monitors. Chinese government's solution to the worsening unrest in Tibet is more police, more guns, more force. Tibet is now like a prison-state. In some places the whole internet is completely blocked, along with phone service. The only reason they don't let ANY foreigners into Tibet these days is so they cannot see the abuses the Communists are heaping upon their own people whose culture and religion they are desperately trying to destroy.
Strictly politics. China has every right to say NO to these so called "human rights monitors". What about human rights violated by the WEST?
jw you're going to have to do better than just repeat communist government propaganda here. The readers of this newspaper are a lot more intelligent than to believe any of it. Try weibo.
You support human right abuses ?


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