Beijing, June 25 - A delegation of European Parliament members is visiting Tibet this week and will meet Chinese authorities in Beijing for talks on economic and security issues, the European Commission's office in Beijing said on Monday.
The group of 23 members of the European Parliament, from 14 countries, flew to Lhasa on Saturday, the commission said. They will also travel to Shigatse, the region's second-largest city, to visit EU-funded development projects there.
The parliamentarians will meet representatives of local authorities and the community, the commission said. Further details were not available.
The visit follows a similar trip in August by the French Senate's Information Commission on Tibet, whose members returned impressed by cell phone reception in remote areas but concerned about the destruction of traditional buildings.
China has stepped up investment in Tibet, after decades of economic neglect, oppression of Tibetans seeking greater autonomy and destruction of temples and religious institutions.
Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled into exile in India in 1959 after a failed uprising.
Beijing is eager to burnish its image ahead of the 2008 Olympics, which is being billed as its coming out party. For its part, Europe is increasingly motivated by building trade ties with China, the world's fourth-largest economy.
A new rail link to the Tibetan capital Lhasa, which opened last July, has brought a surge of tourism to Tibet, especially among Chinese eager to travel to an exotic destination.
But Tibetan activists have warned that tourism and migration by Han Chinese could swamp Tibet's distinctive culture, with ethnic Tibetans receiving less than their share of new jobs and income.