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Greens Register Tibet Concerns with China

24 February 2000

Greens register Tibet concerns with China

Green co-leader Rod Donald today presented a visiting Chinese official with a letter expressing Green Party concerns over the ongoing human rights violations of the Tibetan people by the Chinese.

Professor Zhou Guangzhao, Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, is currently in New Zealand and was hosted to a parliamentary luncheon at 12.30pm today.

Rod Donald took the opportunity to welcome Mr Guangzhao to New Zealand but registered his party's strong concern over China's human rights abuses in Tibet.

"The Greens are very concerned about the ongoing human rights violations and the desecration of Tibet's natural environment and heritage buildings," he said.

"In our view these actions contravene the Seventeen Point Agreement which was imposed on the Tibetan people by the People's Republic of China."

Mr Donald said the Greens continued to support the 1999 recommendation of Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Trade Select Committee which urged the government to call on the Chinese Government to discuss the future of Tibet with the Dalai Lama, and to make New Zealand available as a venue for these talks.

"These abuses of human rights are very real and should be of global concern," said Mr Donald. "We urge Mr Guangzhao to note our concerns and to take them seriously."

Mr Donald declined to attend today's luncheon in Mr Guangzhao's honor and last year declined an invitation of dinner with the Chinese President.

Ends

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