[London] The long arm of the Chinese government was witnessed again today during the arrival in the UK of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. A large crowd of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) supporters had gathered to welcome Wen Jiabao upon his arrival at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. The media and human rights activists were kept in the dark as to his movements and schedule.
“The CCP supporters had flags, drums and even a Chinese dragon! Such extravagance clearly required beforehand planning. But the London police claimed they had no knowledge of Wen’s itinerary and were not making it public. So how did the CCP supporters know when to be where?” asked Pete Speller speaking on behalf of Students for a Free Tibet UK.
Xinhua, China’s state news agency, made headlines yesterday for announcing that foreign media in China now needed to seek its approval before distributing any news and pictures within China, raising state censorship on foreign media to a higher level.
“It appears that the British government has caved in to pressure from the Chinese embassy and decided to keep the people in the dark, a tactic regularly used by Beijing and other authoritarian regimes,” said Alice Speller, National Coordinator of Students for a Free Tibet UK. “ChinaChina itself is proving them wrong. Instead of liberal western corporations coercing china to open up and introduce more political freedoms, so far China has successfully forced western corporations and free countries to compromise their values and principles.” apologists have advocated free trade and open market economies as catalysts for freedom and democracy, but
Pundits have speculated that Wen Jiabao try to influence Britain’s policy on the EU arms embargo during his meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair today. Students for a free Tibet and Tibetan Youth UK will be demonstrating at Downing Street during Wen’s meetings. Since the Tiannaman Square massacre, which inspired the embargo, Tibet and China have seen little change in terms of freedom of expression.
“My country has been destroyed and everyone looks the other way. My people are suffering and everyone looks the other way. My religion and culture are being annihilated and everyone looks the other way,” said Karma Churatsang, president of Tibetan Youth UK. “Tony Blair must use this chance to stand firm on trade and the embargo. To stand firm for those whose voices have been ignored for too long. He should end his political career on a high and positive note by standing up for freedom and human rights, not on a shameful note for underhanded tactics and media secrecy. It is a shame to see the British government support China’s clamp down on freedom and human rights.”
[LONDON] Tibetans and Tibet supporters will call on Britain not to trade with China until TibetUK this week. Students for a Free Tibet and Tibetan Youth UK will be demonstrating throughout his visit including outside Downing Street is free as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits the on Wednesday as Wen Jiabao meets the Prime Minister Tony Blair.
It is likely that Wen Jiabao will try to put pressure on the British government to support a lifting of the European Arms Embargo on China. During the recent EU-China summit held in Helsinki he made several public attempts to push the Finnish government into supporting a lifting of the ban.
Speaking on behalf of Tibetan Youth UK Karma Chura-Tsang said, “The British government must not miss this opportunity to push Wen Jiabao on Tibet. Findings of the recent Foreign Affairs Select Committee East Asia Report demonstrate that China is doing little to deal with the ongoing human rights and environmental abuses. With such current evidence in the hands of MPs it would be embarrassing for the government not to demand change in Tibet but to kowtow to Chinese trade demands.”
Alice Speller, National coordinator for Students for a Free Tibet UK added “Students and young people must demand change from our government on Tibet. Tibet has been ignored or pushed to the sidelines for too long. It is time we took a stand in support of a non-violent movement. Blair must not support the removal of the EU arms embargo and must realize that increased trade with China comes at a cost, Tibetan freedom.” SFT UK is part of the international organization Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), with Headquarters in New York and offices in Vancouver, Canada and Dharamsala, India, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action, SFT campaigns for Tibetans fundamental right to political freedom.
Premier Wen Jiabao to attend the China-EU Summit, Asia-Europe Summit Meeting, the SCO Prime Ministers Meeting and to visit Finland,Britain and Germany
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang announces:
At the invitation of Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Tajikistan Prime Minister Akil AkilovChinese Premier Wen Jiabao will visit Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany and Tajikistan from September 9 to 16.
Premier Wen will also attend the Ninth China-EU Summit and the Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held in Helsinki, capital of Finland, and the Fifth Meeting of Prime Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to be held in Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan.
DHARAMSALA—Authorities in the Tibetan region of Karze in southwestern China's Sichuan province have detained the abbot of a major monastery, possibly in connection with the appearance of posters supporting Tibetan independence one year ago, sources in the area said.
"Chinese security officials arrested Khenpo Jinpa of Choktsang Taklung Monastery based in Choktsang village, Serda county, Karze prefecture, on Aug. 23," a caller from the region told RFA's reporter in Dharamsala. Karze is known in Chinese as Ganzi.
"His room was raided and searched without any kind of advance notice," the caller added.
Media will be free to roam during Olympics, pledges Beijing
Jonathan Watts in Beijing Wednesday September 6, 2006 Guardian
Beijing's Olympics organisers have promised that the international media will be allowed to travel freely around China by the time the Games start in 2008, Britain's minister for culture, media and sport Tessa Jowell said yesterday.
The assurance - given by the head of the organising committee, Liu Qi - would require a loosening of some of the tightest restrictions on foreign journalists in the world. Correspondents are frequently detained by police and sent back to Beijing when they try to cover sensitive stories in the provinces.
Britain, Germany and other European countries have urged China to drop these controls and to grant the same freedoms permitted to Chinese reporters in London, Berlin and other western capitals.
Mrs Jowell, who is visiting Beijing as UK Olympic minister, said she received a positive response when she raised the issue with her counterpart, Mr Liu. "He gave me a clear assurance that he would support unimpeded movement of accredited and non-accredited journalists to report not just on the Games but on China," she said. Read More....