International Recognition of Autonomy for Indigenous Populations: The Case of Tibet
17 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2012 Last revised: 12 Dec 2012
Date Written: November 19, 2012
This chapter addresses China’s Tibet policy and the claims made about it in relation to international legal standards and practices. At this critical time in a Sino-Tibetan dialogue that has gone on since 2002, a book on activating human rights and peace offers an excellent venue for China and the international community to evaluate various claims and policies and consider a path forward. China’s claims about Tibet have provided a weak foundation for its policies. Emerging international standards concerning the human rights and political autonomy of indigenous ethnic populations may offer a more constructive path forward. Such standards may afford an agreeable alternative to the path of seeking independence that China fears. After the recent decision by the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case upholding a right to declare independence Chinese anxieties about Tibetan intentions will only increase. Now may be the time for a policy change to pursue an autonomy model more likely to satisfy the Tibetan urge for self-rule in the Chinese context.
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