Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Tibet and China’s ‘National Minority’ Policies

Tibet and China’s ‘National Minority’ Policies

China’s hard line and repressive policies have often stood in the way of its acceptance on the international stage. This legacy has nowhere been more evident than with respect to its national minority policies applied in Tibet. While China long ago in the 1951 17-point Agreement agreed to provide autonomy to Tibetans it has never delivered on this promise, offering repression and assimilation instead. In nearly every diplomatic outing, as was especially evident in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China’s Tibet policies have been an issue. With the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 2008 Tibetan Memorandum on Genuine Autonomy for the Tibetan People China surely has excellent guidance for a more humane policy to meet Tibetan concerns. With reference to its historical legacy and international standards, this article encourages China to embrace such policy reform.

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