Tibet office in Canberra urges Australia to address Tibet issue with China during Wang Yi’s visit

Karma Singey, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia, addressing during a Tibetan cultural event in Sydney on December 29, 2023. Photo: TPI

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Canberra – Ahead of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s anticipated visit to Australia this week, the Office of Tibet in Canberra has issued a fervent appeal to the Australian government, urging it to prioritize discussions on the Tibet issue during the diplomatic engagement, according to a statement released on March 19, 2024.

Representative Karma Singey emphasized the critical importance of raising concerns about the escalating repression and systemic discrimination faced by the people of Tibet under the harsh rule of the Government of the People's Republic of China. The Representative stressed the urgent need for international attention and action to address the dire situation in Tibet.

In an open letter addressed to Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Representative Karma Singey highlighted Wang Yi’s forthcoming visit as a crucial opportunity to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet. The letter outlined various violations, including forced separations of Tibetan children from their families, indoctrination into Chinese Communist ideology in state-run boarding schools, severe restrictions on religious practices, arbitrary detentions of Tibetan monks and individuals, and recent crackdowns on peaceful Tibetan protesters in Derge County.

The Representative urged the Australian government to hold China accountable for its human rights abuses and to use its diplomatic engagement with China to address these pressing issues.

During the anticipated meeting between the Australian Foreign Minister and Wang Yi, the Representative has advocated for the following demands, outlined in four points:

1. Raise the Tibet issue and the ongoing human rights crisis, including political and religious repression, environmental degradation, and the erosion of Tibetan cultural heritage.
2. Call for the immediate and unconditional release of all Tibetan protesters in Derge County who have been wrongfully detained and ensure proper medical treatment for injured Tibetans.
3. Advocate for greater access to Tibet for international observers and increased media freedom and freedom of movement in the region.
4. Encourage China to engage sincerely in resolving the Tibet issue by reopening dialogue with Tibetan representatives.
Given Australia's significant trade relationship with China, the Representative stressed the importance of integrating human rights concerns into bilateral discussions to foster a more equitable and just relationship between the two nations.