German lawmaker denied visa over Tibet activities

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2016/5/13 0:28:01

China confirmed Thursday it had denied entry to a German parliamentarian who reportedly denounced rights violations in Tibet.

Michael Brand, chairman of the German Bundestag Human Rights Committee, was barred by the Chinese government from visiting China for participating in activities of Tibet Initiative Deutschland, a Germany-based association claiming to support the "autonomy and liberation of Tibet," the German newspaper Bild reported Tuesday.

Lu Kang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said at a press conference on Thursday that Brand was refused entry because he blatantly breached the commitment of the German government to the "one China" policy and stuck his heels in advocating for "Tibet independence," which is so wrong.

"I can say for sure that China will not welcome such a man. I have to say that the Human Rights Committee of the Federal German Parliament is very unwise in issuing the statement and hurling accusations at China," Lu said.

According to Bild, Brand had planned to visit China with a parliamentary delegation at the end of May, which includes a visit to Tibet.

Brand asked for a clear response from the German foreign ministry and the Human Rights Committee would discuss this event, the report said.

"Politicians like Brand involved in the affairs of Tibet are engaged in a publicity stunt and are motivated to gain public support," Zhang Shengjun, an international politics professor at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Merkel's government has always supported human rights and democracy, which is also reflected in its policy toward Syrian refugees. Such policies create a strange, rare and emotional atmosphere, in which the government and the public are both unreasonable while overlooking the truth in some issues," Zhang said.

 "China and Germany have made a partnership in all areas, so Brand's remarks that ignore the basic principles on Tibet will not harm the relationship between the two countries in the long run," Zhang pointed out.

Bild reported that even though Brand's visa was rejected, the Human Rights Committee will be allowed to enter China.

The Chinese Embassy in Germany has done a lot of work preparing for the visit of the Human Rights Committee of the Federal German Parliament, Lu said.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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