China's Tibet lies

22nd February 2013

Official plumbs new depths of denial

A letter from China’s ambassador to the UK sheds new light on the lies, deception and misinformation peddled by the Chinese regime.

Human rights in Tibet

Writing to a British MP in a letter dated October 2012, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming claims that “a large number of facts show that human rights in Tibet are constantly improving”. He then fails to present a single factual claim before somehow reaching the conclusion that “human rights progress in Tibet is indisputable”. This will obviously be news to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which this week outlined a number of concerns with how China treats children in Tibet. Not to mention the UN Human Rights Council; which heard evidence last year from the UN Special Rapporteur on Food relating to issues of food security for Tibetans.

Protests in Tibet

Regarding self-immolation protests, Liu says that the “public order is now back to normal”. Since he made this astonishing claim, there have been around 50 more cases of Tibetans setting themselves alight along with many other examples of dissent among the people of Tibet. Perhaps no one told him.

Censorship in Tibet

Equally jaw-dropping is his assertion that “we welcome foreign diplomats, media reporters and scholars to visit Tibet”. This would be news to Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who recently revealed that their ambassador in Beijing had been trying to arrange a visit to Tibet, without success, for more than a year. Meanwhile the Press Freedom index recently ranked China at 173 out of 179 saying it “shows no signs of improving”.

Welcome to Tibet

Ambassador Liu then does his bit for the travel industry by revealing that “Tibet never closes its doors to the outside world”. In Liu's world 'never' must mean the same as 'three times in 16 months' as China closed Tibet in March 2011, February 2012 and June 2012. Liu’s reference to Chinese policy as “making Tibet the Shangri-La for visitors” would interest anyone who read his propaganda piece in a leading UK newspaper last summer when he claimed that “Tibet was never a Shangri-La”. It seems that the Chinese web of misinformed messaging is becoming so complex that even Mr Liu is getting tangled up in it.

Take action

There are many ways to help Mr Ambassador understand the reality of what is happening in Tibet. Telephone the Chinese embassy in London on +44 (0)207 299 4028 or +44 (0)207 299 4035 Email Write to him at 49/51 Portland Place, London, W1B 1JL, UK. Don’t forget, if you are in the UK, you can also take part in the annual march for Tibet on 10 March which ends with a rally outside Mr Liu's front door at the Chinese Embassy. Or contact your local Chinese embassy. Read the full letter