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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 slams EU over Tibet issue -- state media

April 1, 2008

Agence France-Presse
March 31, 2008

BEIJING—China has voiced "strong dissatisfaction" after EU foreign
ministers discussed unrest in Tibet at a meeting this weekend, state
media said on Sunday.

"The Tibet issue is completely China’s internal affair. No foreign
countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in
it," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu, according to Xinhua
news agency.

EU foreign ministers on Saturday expressed concern over violence in the
Beijing-ruled region where a crackdown on protests has left some 140
people dead, according to Tibetan exiles.

The 27 foreign ministers, meeting in Slovenia, called for an end to the
violence and for talks between China and the Dalai Lama but did not
agree to any boycott of this year's Beijing Olympics.

"We strongly hope the EU and its member states, to make a clear
distinction between right and wrong, explicitly condemn the violent
crimes of beating, smashing, looting and burning and all those
offenders, and avoid taking double-standards," the spokeswoman said.

"Every single responsible country in the world would take measures
according to the law to stop such kind of violent crime," she said,
adding that authorities had shown "great restraint" in handling the
incident.

Meanwhile a separate Xinhua commentary lashed out at European Parliament
President Hans-Gert Poettering's "extremely irresponsible remarks" over
a possible Olympic boycott.

Poettering told a German newspaper that a boycott was "justified" if
China shunned talks with the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual
leader.

"Any rational persons would refrain from risking antagonizing one-fourth
of the world's population," said the strongly worded commentary.

"Those hostile towards China and clinging to a Cold War mentality, and
who turn a blind eye to China’s stability, development and prosperity
and seem always ready to make a point of nit-picking over and
discrediting China, have done all this only to reveal their ignorance
and arrogance.

"Together with peoples of the rest of the world, the Chinese people will
never be shaken in their determination to make the Beijing Olympic Games
a great success. The clamor by a handful of people will, after all, come
to no good."

Protests in the Tibetan capital Lhasa on March 10 to mark a failed 1959
uprising against Chinese rule escalated into widespread rioting in the
city, which then spread to neighboring Chinese provinces populated by
Tibetans.

Beijing says rioters killed 18 civilians and two police officers. Exiled
Tibetan leaders have put the death toll from the Chinese crackdown at
135-140 Tibetans, with another 1,000 injured and many detained.

On Sunday, Beijing Olympics organizers received the Olympic torch in
Athens in a tightly guarded ceremony after police detained anti-Chinese
protesters shouting "Save Tibet" and another group who tried to unfurl a
banner.
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