On 28 March 2017, APPCG Chair Richard Graham MP hosted a delegation led by Mr. Baimachilin, Vice Chair of the National People’s Congress Ethnic Affairs Committee, who also signed the Westminster Hall book of condolence for the recent attack on Parliament.
APPCG members openly discussed a number of topics with the delegation, enquiring about Chinese policy in ethnic minority regions Tibet and Xinjiang, the protection of religious freedoms and of the Tibetan language, and counter-terrorism policy in Xinjiang.
The APPCG raised concerns about British Embassy access to Tibet, reports of the demolition of large numbers of homes and other buildings around the Larung Gar Buddhist monastery in Sichuan province, and reports of arbitrary detentions and restrictions on freedoms of movement for Tibetan lay people and monks, such as Tashi Wangchuk and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
The Chinese delegation, largely comprised of ethnic Tibetans (but no Buddhists), emphasised the economic developments over the last 20 years, recognised the importance of cultural and language heritage, and invited the APPCG to visit Tibet (in the summer).
Mr. Baimachilin, NPC Standing Committee Member; Vice Chair of NPC Ethnic Affairs Committee
Mr. Tongga, Tibet People’s Congress Deputy; Chair of Tibet People’s Congress Ethnic, Religious, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee
Mr. Wangdui, NPC Deputy and Mayor of Nyingchi City in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR)
Mr. Jinmei, Tibet People’s Congress Deputy; Party Secretary of Dingqing County, Changdu City
(Plus senior staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee, the Tibet People’s Congress Standing Committee, and the Chinese Embassy in the UK).
Richard Graham MP
Catherine West MP
Steve McCabe MP
Mike Gapes MP