Press Release by Congresswoman Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

On the Proposed World Bank Loan to Move Chinese into Tibet

June 17, 1999

By seriously considering the China Western Poverty Reduction Project, the leadership of the World Bank is lending its prestige, if not yet its money, to a pernicious policy that seeks to obliterate the religious, linguistic, territorial, social, and political integrity of the vulnerable Tibetan culture.

To consolidate its hegemony over Tibetan culture, the Chinese government has adopted a policy of moving vast numbers of Chinese citizens into traditionally Tibetan areas. Indeed, as a direct result of population transfers already undertaken, Tibetans are now a numerical minority in many parts of Tibet and their way of life is coming under increasing attack.

The proposal carries other burdens as well. The project may violate the World Bank's own policies concerning ethnic minorities and involuntary resettlement. The resettlement may not be voluntary, for the Chinese regime is notorious for lack of transparency and harsh suppression of dissent, particularly in Tibetan areas. The project may precipitate the collapse of a fragile ecology. It may even involve forced labor.

It clearly behooves the leadership of the World Bank to reject the China Western Poverty Reduction Project.

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