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Challenging China’s Claim to Tibet: Discussion with Michael Van Walt, mediator and author

February 26, 2020, 3-5pm


February 26, 2020, 3-5pm

McGill University: Old Chancellor Day Hall, Room 16

3644 Peel St. H3A 1W9

Montreal:  Human rights lawyer, intra-state mediator, and author, Michael Van Walt [1] will present the findings of a multi-year research project during a discussion at McGill University on February 26, 2020.  The findings conclude that, notwithstanding the exile Tibetan administration’s policy of a Middle Way Approach [2], world governments must recognize Tibet’s historic independence if they are to formulate a viable Tibet policy.

“Whether Tibet was or was not part of China historically matters because it affects whether the Chinese military advance in 1950 was an internal matter or constituted aggression,” Van Walt writes.  “It matters because it affects the obligations of all states and therefore their policy choices.”

“Tibetans value the political support received from governments such as Canada” said Sherap Therchin, Executive Director of the Canada Tibet Committee.  “But that support must reflect the historical reality that Tibet was, at one time, an independent country and consequently the Tibet issue is not an internal affair of China.” [3]

From Montreal, Van Walt will travel to Ottawa where he will be joined by Tibet’s political leader, Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, for the official launch of the new research report [4].

# # #

[1] Michael Van Walt bio at

[2] The Middle Way Approach advanced by the Central Tibetan Administration, proposes that Tibet remain within the framework of the People’s Republic of China but with genuine autonomy. For details, see

[3] Government of Canada correspondence about the status of Tibet is compiled in Secret: Government of Canada correspondence about Tibet from 1944-1969, at

[4] Details about events in Ottawa and Toronto will be posted on FB /CanadaTibet

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