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New Zealand Prime Minister to raise Tibet with China Premier

March 31, 2008

Monsters and
Mar 30, 2008

Wellington - New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said she would raise
China's treatment of Tibet directly with Premier Wen when the parties
meet this week for an historic free trade agreement, according to
reports Sunday.

Clark told the New Zealand political television programme Agenda that
she expected to be the first Western leader to directly raise the issue
with the Premier since the riots in Lhasa more than a fortnight ago.

Clark said she expected a strong 'pushback' from China because of the
country's strong views.

She told the television programme Agenda that although she would not
question the status of Tibet within China, 'I will raise it as an issue
of how human rights can be respected in the country.'

Clark will be in Beijing from April six and seven to witness senior
ministers sign an historic free trade agreement.

One minister in Clark's multiparty government has declined the prime
minister's invitation to witness the signing on April seven, because of
China's recent actions against Tibet.

Minister of Revenue and leader of the minor United Future party Peter
Dunne said he would not travel to Beijing with several other government
ministers, because of what he called China's 'bloody crackdown' on Tibet.
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