The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) has strongly urged Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to raise concerns about Tibet during his impending visit to China. Scheduled from January 11 to 12 in Beijing, this visit marks a significant diplomatic engagement, with Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib joining De Croo for high-level discussions with Chinese officials.
The call for De Croo to address the Tibet issue comes in light of recent revelations about Chinese political interference in Belgian politics. Frank Creyelman, an honorary Flemish MP, was exposed as a Chinese spy, prompting the Belgian government to re-evaluate its relationship with Beijing.
Vincent Metten, EU Policy Director of the ICT, emphasized the parallel between Chinese interference in national politics and the repression faced by the Tibetan and Uyghur diasporas in Europe. He highlighted the intimidation tactics used against community members, emphasizing Belgium's responsibility to protect its citizens.
The ICT further raised alarms about China's ongoing efforts to erase Tibetan identity, describing it as a cultural genocide against the Tibetan people. Given Belgium's current role as the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, the ICT insists that De Croo has a responsibility to hold China accountable for these violations of international law.
In response to growing concerns, De Croo has previously stated that Belgium's relationship with China is multifaceted, encompassing partnership, competition, and rivalry. As the visit approaches, all eyes are on whether the Belgian PM will heed the calls to address the pressing human rights issues in Tibet during his discussions with Chinese leaders.
Edited and collated by Team TRC