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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

China: Paris council's honorary citizenship for Dalai Lama 'another insult'

April 23, 2008

Canadian Press
April 22, 2008

BEIJING — China says a decision by Paris city council to bestow honorary
citizenship on the Dalai Lama is an insult that will harm diplomatic
relations.

Anti-French sentiment has been growing in China since the Beijing
Olympics torch relay was disrupted during a chaotic leg in Paris on April 7.

But even as French officials tried to smooth over relations with
Beijing, the Paris city council voted Monday to bestow the title of
"honorary citizen" on the Dalai Lama.

A spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry says the decision to
honour the Dalai Lama will "only be considered as another insult against
the 1.3 billion Chinese people, including Tibetans."

Beijing demonizes the Tibetan spiritual leader, accusing him of
organizing violent protests in Tibet last month to split the far western
region from China, and of trying to sabotage this summer's Olympic Games.

The Chinese spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, She urged France to "erase the
negative impact of their erroneous action, stop indulging and supporting
Tibetan independence forces."

Jiang's statement did not mention Hu Jia, a Chinese human rights
activist who will also be recognized as an honorary citizen of Paris. Hu
was recently convicted of subversion charges and sentenced to 3 1/2
years in prison.

China has said consistently that Hu's case was dealt with in accordance
with the law, though it has never provided specifics about the charges
against him.

Over the weekend, protesters waving Chinese flags rallied in front of
the French Embassy in Beijing and at outlets of French retailer
Carrefour in nine Chinese cities.

Many consider the torch relay disruptions by pro-Tibet activists as an
affront to their country. China, and the vast majority of Chinese,
consider Tibet an integral part of China that can never be broken away.
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