Former Ambassador to Nepal
Not Known, likely mid 1960s
Ambassador to Nepal, where there is increasing pressure on the Tibetan population and new refugees.
Pronunciation: Woo Chwen-tie (as in eye) soundbite
Born: Not Known
Education: A graduate, no details available
Career: Joined Chinese Foreign Service in the late 1980s and has served in Turkey, UK, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong. Various Foreign Ministry posts, including north Asian and American departments and, immediately before his appointment to Kathmandu, as deputy Director General of the Department of External Security which handles counter-intelligence, protection of Chinese personnel posted in embassies overseas, and security-related work relating to Tibet, Xinjiang and Taiwan.
Prospects: Served until October 2016. No information about a new posting.
Relevance to Tibet: Expected to continue China’s policies in Nepal where the Tibetan population is under increasing pressure.
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:
In his maiden speech, Wu said “Chinese policy is to support Nepal’s sovereignty and unity”
Wu Chuntai’s Contact Information:
- Address: Baluwatar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Website: www.chinaembassy.org.np/09/
- Phone: +977-1-4419389, Embassy 24 hour cellphone +977-9851071888
- Fax: +977-1-4414045
- Email: email@example.com
Background to Situation in Nepal:
There are at least 20,000 Tibetans in Nepal. Nepal supports the ‘one-China policy’ that views Tibet as an integral part of China. It has repeatedly assured China that it will not allow its territory to be used for anti- Beijing activities. In 2010, Nepal police seized ballot boxes being used by Tibetans to vote for a new Kalon Tripa and Members of the Tibetan Parliament in exile. Tibetans were additionally prevented from voting in March 2011. Nepalese police have also cracked down significantly on demonstrations by Tibetans, using violence to break up peaceful protests and arresting perceived ring-leaders, heedless of the law. In July 2011, the Supreme Court of Nepal had to order the release of a group of 12 Tibetans after finding that the 20 days they had spent in detention was “without reasonable explanation… and that said detention is illegal,” according to court documents obtained by the International Campaign for Tibet. There are plenty of recent examples of detentions and protests suppressed, and in March 2013 there was controversy when the Tibetan community attempted to reclaim the body of a Tibetan monk who self-immolated and died, so that traditional buddhist rites could be performed.
Nepal is also the first destination for Tibetan refugees fleeing the repression in Tibet. Annually until 2008 between 2,500 and 3,500 Tibetans crossed the Himalayas into exile; since the post-2008 crackdown these numbers have dropped annually to between 800 and 900 in both 2009 and 2010. In 2010 Three Tibetans were forcibly returned to Tibet by helicopter, accompanied by a Nepalese politician and policeman. Although the US government offered to take in about 5,000 of the most vulnerable Tibetan refugees, Nepal put the request on hold after China said it would be tantamount to interfering in China’s internal affairs. The Obama administration recently sent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration Kelly Clements to Nepal to urge the Jhala Nath Khanal government to issue IDs to Tibetan refugees in Nepal as well as respect their basis rights and allow them safe passage to India. See “Dangerous Crossing” by the International Campaign for Tibet (2011 update) for more details.
Wu Chuntai’s four predecessors, Yang Houlan, Sun Heping, Zheng Xianglin and Qiu Guohong were all recalled early. Each had seen an escalation in anti-China protests in Nepal by Tibetan protesters.
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