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NZ calls on China to end Tibet violence

March 18, 2008

 From correspondents in Wellington
March 17, 2008
Agence France-Presse

NEW Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has urged China to react
"carefully and proportionately" to unrest in Tibet and elsewhere in the
Tibet's government-in-exile said that 80 Tibetans were confirmed killed
and possibly more than 100 in the unrest last week, while Chinese
authorities accused rioters of killing 13 "innocent civilians."

The protests began early last week during the anniversary of a failed
1959 uprising against Chinese rule that began nine years after Chinese
troops took over the vast Himalayan region.

"We want to see an end to the violence," Clark said.

"We have long urged China to engage in meaningful dialogue with
representatives of the Tibetan people, as we think this is the best way
to achieve a lasting resolution of problems in Tibet.

"We urge the Chinese authorities to react carefully and proportionately
to protest."

Her remarks came after she was accused of downplaying her reaction to
the Chinese crackdown because of the expected signing next month of a
free-trade deal between New Zealand and China.
"New Zealand has differences of opinion with most countries on some
issues," she said.
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