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Tibet: Politics and Government

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on (a) independence and (b) greater political autonomy for Tibet. (198066)

[holding answer 3 April 2008]: Successive Governments have regarded Tibet as autonomous while recognising the special position of the Chinese authorities there. We have consistently informed the Chinese government of our view that greater autonomy should be granted to the Tibetans. But like all other EU members, we do not advocate Tibetan independence. We have emphasised that the current political difficulties in Tibet can best be resolved through dialogue between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has stated publicly that he opposes violence and does not seek independence, but greater autonomy for Tibet. We consider that this provides a basis for a negotiated settlement to the issue of Tibet.