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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?"

'Onus on France to fix Tibet'

November 28, 2008

The Straits Times
November 27, 2008
        
China directed its anger at France, because it holds the EU's
rotating presidency and French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to
meet the Dalai Lama (left) in Poland on December 6. -- PHOTO: AP

BEIJING - CHINA said on Thursday the onus was on France to create the
right atmosphere for a European summit to be held, after the Chinese
side postponed the meeting amid a dispute over Tibet.

'When it will be held depends on when France, as the rotating
president of the EU, takes concrete measures to create the sound and
necessary conditions and atmosphere for the meeting,' foreign
ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

China on Wednesday postponed a summit with the European Union
scheduled for next week in France in protest at plans by EU leaders
to meet Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

China directed its anger at France, because it holds the EU's
rotating presidency and French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to
meet the Dalai Lama in Poland on December 6.

The 73-year-old Buddhist leader is also due to visit the Czech
Republic and Belgium, where he is scheduled to address the European
Parliament in Brussels on December 4.

'In China we have a saying, 'whoever causes the problem should solve
the problem.' It is not China that caused the present situation,' Mr Qin said.

China has insisted for many years that it opposes foreign leaders
meeting the Tibetan spiritual leader, who it maintains is trying to
win independence for his Himalayan homeland that has been under
Chinese rule since 1951.

Mr Qin repeated China's stance on Thursday.

'The Chinese government and people resolutely oppose Dalai's
engagement in separatist activities overseas in whatever capacity,
and oppose foreign leaders' contact with Dalai in whatever form,' he said.

'Our position is clear, consistent and firm.' -- AFP
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