China on Tuesday described critical comments from Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as “lies” and insisted the Himalayan region had enjoyed profound democratic reforms under Chinese rule.
“I will not respond to the Dalai Lama's lies,” foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters.
However, he launched a broad defence of China's 58-year rule of Tibet, after the Dalai Lama Tuesday said Chinese authorities had brought "hell on earth" to Tibetans.
“The Dalai Lama clique is confusing right and wrong. They are spreading rumours. The democratic reforms (under Chinese rule) are the widest and most profound reforms in Tibetan history,” Ma said.
In a speech Tuesday on the 50th anniversary of the failed uprising that led to his exile, the Dalai Lama accused China of causing the deaths of “hundreds of thousands” in subsequent rounds of repression.
Ma said China's takeover of the Himalayan region resulted in the liberation of the Tibetan people, who had been enslaved for centuries by Tibet's feudal theocracy.