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EU-China-Summit-2016Brussels — Ahead of the 18 th EU-China Summit in Beijing, the cross-party Tibet Interest Group (TIG) in the European Parliament asked the EU leaders' immediate action to resolve the unsettling situation in Tibet, by raising these issues with the Chinese counter-part.

The 18th bilateral summit between the EU and China will take place on 12-13 July in Beijing," the Council of the European Union said in a statement.

"Discussions will focus on political and economic relations as well as global and regional issues," the statement said adding that "The summit is expected to cover mobility and migration, foreign policy cooperation and the human rights dialogue with China."

In a letter addressed to the EU leaders, Mr Thomas Mann, a German MEP and Chair of the TIG, thanked the EU for raising the issue of Tibet with her Chinese counter-part during the previous EU-China Summit on 29 June 2015 in Brussels.

"We are writing to draw the attention of the EU leaders on two important issues that are of immediate concern to us, which we would hope the EU leaders can address during the forthcoming 18th EU-China Summit on 12-13 July in Beijing, China", said Mr. Mann on behalf of his group.

He highlighted the ongoing mining activities at Gong-ngon Lari, a Tibetan holy mountain site in Amchok in Eastern Tibet where local Tibetans have staged numerous peaceful protests calling for the cessation of the mining that were brutally suppressed by the Chinese authorities.

The second point raised in the letter was the demolition of Larung Gar Academy, the world's largest monastic institution which consists of a population of at least 10,000 monks and laypeople, that the Chinese government plans to eliminate quarters for all but 5000 monks, nuns and laypeople by September 2017.

He requested the EU leaders' immediate action to resolve the unsettling situation in the region and to raise these issues with the Chinese counter-part during the summit. And urged them to call on the Chinese leaders to observe it's environmental laws, universal human rights and respect Tibetan people's religious and cultural considerations in undertaking development projects in Tibet.

European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will represent the European Union at the summit. The High Representative Federica Mogherini, Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will also participate.

During EU-China summit in Brussels last year, the Council President urged China to restart a dialogue with representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"I expressed our concerns on freedom of expression and association in China including people belonging to minorities including Tibetan and Uighur," Tusk said at a joint press conference in Brussels with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

"In that context, I have urged China to restart a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama's representatives," he added.

Human Rights is listed among the key initiatives of the upcoming summit, saying: "Deepen exchanges on human rights at the bilateral and international level on the basis of equality and mutual respect. Strengthen the Human Rights Dialogue with constructive discussions on jointly agreed key priority areas."

The European Council, charged with defining the EU's overall political direction and priorities, is the institution of the European Union (EU) that comprises the heads of state or government of the member states, along with President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission.

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