MP raises questions over journalist expulsions from Tibet and access

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham and co -chair of the All Party Parliamentary Tibet Group, raised two written questions in Parliament on 3 December:

Tibet: Official Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many official requests have been made to visit Tibet in the last 10 years; and how many of those requests were granted.
Rt Hon Mark Field, Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), answered “We have made repeated requests to the Chinese authorities to visit Tibet in the last 10 years, but very few of those have been agreed or acknowledged. The British Ambassador most recently visited Tibet from 26–30 June 2017, with other EU Heads of Mission.” He continued, “We believe it is important [our Ambassador] is able to visit all areas – including Tibet. We continue to press for the further access for British diplomats, as well as urging the Chinese authorities to lift the visit restrictions imposed on all foreigners.

China and Tibet: Journalism:

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK journalists have been (a) denied access to and (b) expelled from (i) Tibet and (ii) China in the last five years.

Rt Hon Mark Field answered that statistics are not held, but that access to Tibet by all foreign passport holders is heavily restricted by the Chinese authorities, including journalists. He said, “We continue to urge the Chinese authorities to lift the visit restrictions imposed on foreigners.

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