Skip to main content

China: Tibet

Volume 474: debated on Tuesday 1 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his definition is of the special position of China in relation to Tibet to which he referred on the BBC World At One programme on 20 March 2007. (197460)

Successive governments have regarded Tibet as autonomous, while recognising the special position of the Chinese there. This position was set out in detail to an inquiry by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in 2000 as follows:

“Successive British Governments have regarded Tibet as autonomous while recognising the special position of the Chinese there. We have consistently informed the Chinese government of our view that greater autonomy should be granted to the Tibetans. We have also emphasised that the current political difficulties in Tibet can best be resolved through dialogue between the Chinese government and the Tibetan people, including the Dalai Lama. We seek to encourage the Chinese authorities to enter into a dialogue without preconditions and have noted that the Dalai Lama has stated publicly that he does not seek independence, but greater autonomy for Tibet. Central to our interest in Tibet is our deep concern at evidence of human rights abuses.”