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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

China official says U.S. should stop using Dalai Lama to stir trouble

February 6, 2017

Reuters, February 4, 2017 - The United States should stop using the Dalai Lama to create trouble for China, a senior Chinese official in charge of Tibet affairs told an influential state-run newspaper.

It would bring no benefit to the U.S. but damage Sino-U.S. ties instead, the Global Times reported late Friday, citing Zhu Weiqun, head of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to China's parliament.

The Global Times, a tabloid known for writing strongly-worded, hawkish and nationalist editorials, is published by the ruling Communist Party's flagship paper.

China says the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, is a violent separatist. The Dalai Lama denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

In response to recent written questions from the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the newly appointed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave an affirmative answer when asked if he would commit to receiving and meeting the Dalai Lama.

Tillerson also said he would continue to encourage dialogue between Beijing and representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama, India-based news service reported on Thursday.

It is impossible for the Chinese government to "have a dialogue" with the illegal group that is aiming to split China, and Tillerson's remarks show he is a "complete amateur" on Tibet-related questions, Zhu told the Global Times.

China will not change its policy to support the development of the Tibetan society, nor will it stop protecting its sovereignty over the region, he said.

Beijing does not recognise the Tibetan government-in-exile, which is based in India's Himalayan town of Dharamsala.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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