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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China closes Tibet to foreigners until July 26 in apparent move to head off disturbances

June 23, 2011

BEIJING, China - Travel agents say China has closed Tibet to foreigners until July 26 in an apparent move to head off trouble surrounding sensitive political anniversaries.

Agents say official written notice of the closure was received June 1 and cited last month's 60th anniversary of communist rule over Tibet as the cause. However, with the May 23 anniversary already passed, the closure seems more likely targeted at the 90th anniversary of ruling Communist Party's founding, which is July 1.

Ren Zhiwei of Tibet China Travel Service and Zeng Meimei of Tibet China International Travel Service, both in Lhasa, said Thursday that Chinese tourists are not affected by the ban.

Tibet has been closed intermittently to foreign tourists since deadly anti-government protests there in 2008.

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