2009 - 2014
Plenary sitting
with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of
human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 122 of the Rules of Procedure
on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar (China - Autonomous Region
of Xinjiang)
Helmut Scholz, Rui Tavares
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
United in diversity
European Parliament resolution on the situation and cultural heritage in Kashgar
(China - Autonomous Region of Xinjiang)
The European Parliament,
– having regard to Rule 122 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas Kashgar located in the Autonomous Region of Xinjiang is a town with a
recorded history of 2100 years; whereas many of the buildings are over 400 years old;
whereas Chinese scholars consider it the only surviving Muslim old town with central
Asian influence, and UNESCO experts regard it as the most important trade centre along
the ancient Silk Road;
B. whereas Kashgar's significant cultural value was recognized by the Chinese government
in 1986, when it was first pronounced as a national level historical city;
C. whereas the preservation of Kashgar Old Town is facing challenges similar to those facing
the preservation of other ancient towns in China and worldwide - irrational real estate
development. over-exploited tourism industry, removal of local residents, lack of
sufficient infrastructure, low awareness of the values of the cultural heritage, improper
D. whereas Chinese authorities declared in early 2009 that 65,000 homes in Kashgar's old
city were unfit for habitation due to poor drainage and concerns over potential collapse in
the event of an Earthquake; whereas 40,000 families are set to lose their millennia-old,
traditional mud-brick homes as part of the project, and will be moved to areas miles
outside the city;
1. deplores the fact that the two thousand year old town, Kashgar lacked proper maintenance,
and did not have infrastructure improvements for decades; recognises the need to improve
the living environment and to reinforce the stability of the old houses; calls on the Chinese
authorities to conduct the reconstruction in a way that preserves the cultural heritage of
the town;
2. underlines the importance of public consultation and citizens participation in the
elaboration of the urban reconstruction plan for Kashgar; deplores the fact that many of
the citizens of Kashgar feel not informed and calls on the local authorities to improve
public information and consultation;
3. suggests to the Chinese authorities to reconsider the decision not to include Kashgar in the
application for the Silk Road to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
4. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the
Government of China and the Secretary-General of the UNESCO.