Liverpool face new wave of criticism over sponsor deal with China’s Tibet Water

January 12 – Pro-Tibetan sympathisers are planning to stage a protest ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday against a sponsorship deal struck last year.

The protesters want Liverpool principal owner John W. Henry to drop the deal with Tibet Water Resources and will display the message “Under Chinese rule, Tibetans are beaten and tortured for their beliefs. John W. Henry: Your deal with Tibet Water legitimises the torture of Tibetans. Liverpool FC: Do we think this is okay?”

Liverpool signed a deal last July for Tibet Water Resources to be their official regional water partner in China.

In October the Free Tibet group launched a campaign against the partnership, with a petition calling on Liverpool to scrap it receiving over 80,000 signatures. Protesters are using Sunday’s high-profile Premier League encounter to further ram home their message.

Tibet is governed as an autonomous region of China though exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama says Tibet has been colonised.

A statement issued by Tibet Water Resources when the issue was first raised in October said: “As recently as 2016 The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released a report ‘China National Human Development Report’, which specifically recognises that our company has helped measurably improve Tibetans’ livelihoods by providing more job opportunities, building local facilities, as well as supporting local education, medical care and poverty alleviation.”

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