CERD examination of China raises Tibet autonomy question
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 07:08


China was examined by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 7 and 10 August, raising specific questions about the status of ethnic minority-dominated areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang, and highlighting the need to improve social welfare and infrastructure in ethnic minority-dominated areas.


Following questioning to determine the implications of the ‘one state, two systems’ operating between ‘mainland’ China and Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (allowing these areas to have their own capitalist and political systems, while mainland China maintains a ‘socialist’ system), the Committee enquired as to why a similar system could not therefore be rolled out to the Tibet and Xinjiang provinces. The Chinese delegation dealt with the proposition in a vague and summary manner, and sought to differentiate the regions highlighted on historical grounds, arguing that it would threaten national unity to take such action without popular support.

Other topics of the debate focused on possible discriminatorypractices in education and law enforcement. The Committee expressed itsconcern for those arrested in connection with the recent disturbancesin Tibet and Xinjiang and sought reassurances that they have beentreated in accordance with national and international standards. Itfurthermore reminded China that economic development coupled with a‘surprising’ lack of court cases relating to racial discrimination doesnot necessarily imply that human rights obligations, including inrelation to economic and social rights, are being observed and enforcedby the State.


The Committee’s Concluding Observations are scheduled to be released by the end of the current session on 28 August.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 November 2009 03:08
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