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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."

Don't use 'European values'

December 17, 2008

BEIJING Dec 16, 2008 (AFP) - CHINA on Tuesday told French President Nicolas Sarkozy not to use the pretext of 'European values' to interfere in its rule of Tibet.
 
Mr Sarkozy incensed China by holding talks with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Poland this month, prompting Beijing to scrap a European-China summit and threaten trade ties with France.
 
'We have noted that President Sarkozy has expressed his intentions to resolve this issue without renouncing European values,' foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.
 
'I would like to say that we will not interfere in the values that others have adopted. At the same time we cannot accept using these values as an excuse to undermine the interests of other nations and peoples.'
 
On Friday last week, Mr Sarkozy told journalists he aimed to find 'the means to have a calm dialogue with China', but 'not at the price of renouncing our own European values'.
 
'Having good or bad relations with a partner is not about letting oneself being told what to do,' Mr Sarkozy said.
 
Mr Liu said China valued its relations with France, but indicated that celebrations for the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations next year may suffer unless Mr Sarkozy can make amends.
 
'We have said before that the responsibility of the current situation lies with the French side,' Mr Liu said.
 
'We hope France will recognise this and do something to solve the problem in order to create the conditions to better celebrate the 45th anniversary and further promote the long-term, sound development of the strategic partnership.'
 
China is against any foreign leaders meeting the Dalai Lama, whom it accuses of seeking independence for Tibet.
 
The Dalai Lama denies this, saying he only wants meaningful autonomy for the Himalayan region that China has ruled since 1951.
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