September 22, 2008

Tibet: China Criticizes U.S. Over Tibet Resolution

Active ImageUS Senate's call for greater religious freedom and automony in Tibet is rejected by China.
 
Below is an article published by The International Herald Tribune:

China has rejected a Senate resolution urging Beijing to hold serious talks with supporters of the Dalai Lama, saying the move shows Washington supports Tibetan independence.

The bipartisan Senate resolution, passed Wednesday [17 September 2008], also called for China to allow more religious freedom in Tibet, which was rocked by violent riots and anti-government protests earlier this year.

"The Tibet issue is China's internal affair, so is the Chinese government's contact and dialogue with the Dalai Lama," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement posted on the ministry's Web site late Saturday night [20 September 2008].

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China has repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan religious leader, and his followers of instigating  unrest and trying to derail the Beijing Olympic Games in August [2008]. Bowing to international pressure, Beijing agreed to hold talks with the Dalai Lama's representatives two times after the violence, but no progress has been reported.

The U.S. resolution urges the Dalai Lama, his representatives and the Chinese government "to begin earnest negotiations, without preconditions, to provide for a mutually agreeable solution that addresses the legitimate grievances of, and provides genuine autonomy for, the Tibetan people."

Jiang said the bill was wrong and supported Tibetan independence.

"We urge the U.S. Senate to abide by the basic rules of international relations, stop supporting and conniving with the Dalai Lama and separatist forces for Tibet independence, and immediately stop wrongful remarks and deeds that interfere into China's internal affairs and harm the China-U.S. relations," she said.

The Tibetan protests in Lhasa and across western China posed the most significant challenge to Chinese rule in nearly two decades. Similar mass demonstrations in Lhasa in 1989 were also cut down by military force.

China poured tens of thousands of troops into Tibet and surrounding provinces to quash the demonstrations. Its harsh response garnered worldwide criticism, and several world leaders even threatened to boycott the Beijing Olympics, which ended last month.

The Dalai Lama has said that despite China's harsh crackdown on the March riots and protests, he still supports a solution of meaningful autonomy for the Tibetan people under China's rule, not independence.