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Economic summit and China Time: China just puts on its Sunday face in Hamburg

China's economic boom is costing a lot in violations of human rights

Bolzano/Bozen, Göttingen, Hamburg, 13. September 2006

On the opening of the Chinese-European Economic Summit and of the China Time celebrations in Hamburg the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) on Wednesday together with Tibetans, Uyghurs and the Tibet Initiative Deutschland e.V. against China's depletion of the mineral resources of these peoples. "Without the plundering of the forests and rivers, the mining, oil and natural gas in Tibet and East Turkistan (Xinjiang) China's economic boom would be unthinkable", said the GfbV Asia expert, Ulrich Delius. "Hamburg is showing only the Sunday face of China", criticised Delius. The catastrophic results for Tibetans and Uyghurs of the hunger of the People's Republic for energy and natural resources have received no mention. "But those who like the city of Hamburg make so much profit out of China's economic boom must no shut their eyes to the catastrophic consequences of the resulting race for natural resources". This was the demand of Delius. The Chinese prime Minister, Wen Jiabao and the German Minister of Commerce, Michael Glos, opened in Hamburg today a three-day European-Chinese economic summit. The Hanse city is with its harbour one of the most important centres of the European trade with China.

For Tibet's nomads and for hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in neighbouring East Turkistan the economic boom means the downfall of their traditional society. For to make sure of obtaining the mineral resources China is systematically pressing the settling of Han Chinese and the construction of dams, gas and oil pipe-lines and railways. "The plundering of nature means that an increasing number of Tibetans and Uyghurs in the rural areas will be losing their existential foundation", warned Delius. "Simultaneously the authorities in both regions are tightening up the repression against the traditionally resident population in order to obtain in the long run the control over the raw materials." In Burma and Indonesia too the deforestation in the name of the Chinese economic boom means the destruction of several hundred thousand indigenous inhabitants. To satisfy China's hunger for raw materials tens of thousands of hectares of forest are being felled and in Indonesia large areas of tropical forest are being cleared for the setting up of palm oil plantations.

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