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Denmark seeks to pacify China over Tibet

December 11, 2009

(AFP) December 10, 2009

COPENHAGEN ? Denmark will oppose Tibetan independence and carefully
consider China's reaction before inviting the Dalai Lama again,
Copenhagen said Thursday in a diplomatic note to Beijing.

"Denmark is fully aware of the importance and sensitivity of
Tibet-related issues and attaches great importance to the view of the
Chinese government on these issues," the note said.

"Denmark takes very seriously the Chinese opposition to meetings between
members of the Danish Government and the Dalai Lama, and has duly noted
Chinese views that such meetings are against the core interest of China,
and will handle such issues prudently.

"In this regard, Denmark reaffirms its One-China Policy and its
unchanged position that Tibet is an integral part of China. Denmark
recognises China?s sovereignty over Tibet and accordingly opposes the
independence of Tibet."

Ties between Beijing and Copenhagen have been strained since late May
when the Tibetan spiritual leader visited Denmark and was received by
Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller.

The welcome accorded to the Dalai Lama in what was termed a private
visit led to the cancellation of official Danish visits to China and
fueled problems for Danish firms operating in the country.

The note said Denmark "attaches great importance to the considerable
progress of the bilateral relations and the fruitful cooperation in the
political, economic, cultural, educational, scientific and technological
fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1950."

The diplomatic note was backed by two big opposition socialist parties
but was slammed by an ally of the liberal-conservative government.

"The government is going on bended knee before China," said Soeren
Espersen, spokesman of the far-right Danish People's Party.

Political analyst Hans Engell told the TV2 News television channel: "The
government has given in to Chinese pressure" to "preserve the interests
of its companies."

The Dalai Lama fled Chinese-ruled Tibet more than 50 years ago and is
seen by Beijing as a separatist seeking independence for his Himalayan
homeland -- an accusation that the Buddhist monk has vehemently denied.

China has repeatedly said the door was always open for dialogue with the
Dalai Lama's representatives, but so far sporadic talks since 2002 have
failed to make progress.
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