Free Tibet statement on David Cameron and China demand for "apology" over Dalai Lama meeting

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

7 May 2013, immediate use

Free Tibet statement on David Cameron and Tibet

Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, director of Free Tibet, said:

“David Cameron’s refusal so far to apologise for meeting the Dalai Lama last year is simply fulfilling the wishes of his electorate. A 2010 ICM poll revealed that 74 per cent of Britons believe protecting human rights in Tibet is at least as important as trade relations with China and more than a third consider it more important. Mr Cameron is worried that Britain receives ‘too much interference from Brussels’ but kowtowing to China’s request would be surrendering to interference from Beijing.

“Downing St also claims that its position that Tibet is part of the People’s Republic of China is ‘longstanding.’ Until five years ago Britain recognised Chinese ‘suzerainty’ in Tibet so long as China accepted Tibet’s autonomy. China never did. It was only in 2008 that the Labour government rewrote history to recognise Tibet as part of China for the first time.

“In the year in which the UK seeks election to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, resisting China’s attempts to bully the government over Tibet will be a sign of genuine commitment to human rights.”

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