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China fires salvo at US on Tibet issue

China expresses “strong indignation” over a US Congressional resolution calling on Beijing to stop cracking down on Tibetan and talk to the Dalai Lama.
None | By HT Correspondent, Beijing
UPDATED ON APR 11, 2008 10:21 PM IST

China expressed “strong indignation” on Friday over a US Congressional resolution calling on Beijing to stop cracking down on Tibetan dissent and talk to the Dalai Lama.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu labelled the resolution anti-Chinese, saying it “twisted Tibet’s history and modern reality... seriously hurting the feelings of the Chinese people”. “The Chinese side expresses its strong indignation and resolute opposition toward this,” Jiang said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.

The resolution sponsored by House of Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Beijing to “end its crackdown on nonviolent Tibetan protesters”, along with cultural, religious, economic linguistic “repression”. While noting reports of deadly rioting in Lhasa and other Tibetan areas, the resolution called China’s response “disproportionate and extreme”. It said hundreds of Tibetans had been killed and thousands detained, but did not cite the source of its information. China says 22 people were killed in the riots, many in arson attacks, and over 1,000 detained. The Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile says more than 140 people were killed. The resolution also called on China to begin an unconditional “results-based dialogue” with the 72-year-old Dalai Lama to address Tibetan concerns and work toward a long-term solution to the dispute.

China has held six rounds of contacts with representatives of the Dalai Lama with no apparent result, and has demanded he meet numerous preconditions before it will talk to him directly. Jiang said the resolution failed to condemn the “Dalai Clique” that China blames for orchestrating the protests that began peacefully on March 10 among Buddhist monks in Lhasa.

The resolution “makes willful accusations against the Tibetan Autonomous Region government’s lawful handling of the serious violent criminal incident in Lhasa and crudely interferes in China’s internal affairs,” Jiang said.

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