US asks China to 'address' its policies in Tibet
The United States has urged China to "exercise restraint" in dealing with the protests by Buddhist monks against the communist rule, also asking it to address its "policies" in Tibetan areas "that have created tensions".
In a statement, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice urged Chinese government to release monks "detained solely for the peaceful expression of their views."
"I am deeply saddened to learn that the turmoil that erupted yesterday in Lhasa following what began as peaceful protests has resulted in the loss of lives, and I am concerned that the violence appears to be continuing," Rice said.
"I also am concerned by reports of a sharply-increased police and military presence in and around Lhasa. We call on the Chinese government to exercise restraint in dealing with these protests, and we strongly urge all sides to refrain from violence," she said.
"We urge China to respect the fundamental and universally recognized right of all of its citizens to peacefully express their political and religious views, and we call on China to release monks and others who have been detained solely for the peaceful expression of their views", the Secretary of State said.
Rice further said: "We also urge China to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions due to their impact on Tibetan religion, culture, and livelihoods".
Stressing for the "long-standing issues with regard to Tibet" to be "resolved", she added: "President Bush has consistently encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama directly and through his representatives."