China indignant at US lawmakers over Tibet


China said it was outraged by a resolution by US lawmakers urging Beijing to end a crackdown in Tibet and open dialogue with the Himalayan region's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

The condemnation was in response to a US House of Representatives resolution agreed on Wednesday urging China to open “substantive dialogue” with the Tibetan Buddhist leader and “end its crackdown on non-violent Tibetan protestors and its continuing cultural, religious, economic, and linguistic repression inside Tibet.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said her government was "strongly indignant and resolutely opposed" to the U.S. move, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Jiang said US lawmakers should instead direct their ire at the Dalai Lama's “clique,” which China has blamed for deadly rioting in Tibet's regional capital Lhasa on March 14 and protests across Tibetan areas.

“It is confusing black with white and is vicious-minded of certain members of the US House of Representatives to not only fail to condemn the attacks, smashing, looting and arson in Lhasa ... but rather to point the spear at the Chinese government and people,” Jiang said.

Chinese public opinion has swung strongly behind the government's case that the Tibetan protests were intended to disrupt the Beijing Olympic Games in August, and that criticisms of its policies in Tibet are ill-founded.

Beijing has also condemned protests focused on Tibet that have followed the Olympic Games torch relay through London, Paris and San Francisco.

Jiang said the US lawmakers' resolution would only strengthen Chinese resolve to keep a grip on Tibet.

“We warn these members of the US Congress that the more you protect the Dalai clique and meddle in preparations for the Beijing Olympic Games ... the more determined the Chinese people will be to protect Tibet's social stability and ethnic unity and hold a successful Beijing Olympics.” (Reuters)

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