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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

China criticizes US for resolution on Tibet

March 15, 2009

March 12, 2009

BEIJING (AP) - China accused the U.S. Congress on Thursday of damaging
relations and meddling in China's internal affairs by passing a
resolution recognizing the plight of Tibet's people and their exiled
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

It was the second time in as many days that China cried foul over the
U.S. stance on Tibet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said a protest had been
lodged with the U.S. Embassy in Beijing over the resolution, which
"disregarded facts and made groundless accusations against China's
ethnic and religious policies."

"The Chinese government and people express strong dissatisfaction and
resolute opposition," Ma told reporters during a regular briefing.

The foreign affairs committee of the National People's Congress, China's
legislature, also expressed its opposition to the resolution, saying it
"hurts the Chinese people's feelings," the official Xinhua News Agency said.

The resolution, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on
Wednesday, also called for greater efforts by all sides to bring about a
durable and peaceful solution to the Tibet issue.

Though such resolutions do not obligate the U.S. government to follow
specific policies, China has often reacted testily to such criticism,
especially this month, which marks the anniversaries of the failed 1959
Tibetan uprising and widespread anti-Chinese demonstrations a year ago.

The ministry lodged a similar protest Wednesday after a spokesman for
President Barack Obama voiced concern for religious repression in Tibet
and appealed for renewed dialogue between Beijing and the Dalai Lama.

Also Thursday, state media quoted Tibet's governor as warning the Dalai
Lama not to break with conventions on reincarnation when the time comes
to choose a successor. The Chinese government, which is officially
atheist, requires all Tibetan spiritual leaders to receive approval from

"If the Dalai Lama does not follow the convention for political or other
purposes, I believe his reincarnation would not be acknowledged by
religious people in Tibet and the central government will never approve
it," Xinhua quoted Qiangba Puncog as saying.

Traditionally, the Dalai Lama's successor is a boy born after his death,
chosen by Buddhist monks who believe the child is his reincarnation.

But the Dalai Lama has said his successor could be appointed before his
death or chosen through democratic elections. He has also said the next
Dalai Lama could be reincarnated in exile.

The abortive 1959 revolt ended with the Dalai Lama's flight and brought
the Himalayan region under Beijing's direct control. Peaceful protests
marking the event last year spiraled out of control, resulting in a day
of ethnic rioting in Lhasa on March 14 and widespread demonstrations
elsewhere in Tibet and three surrounding provinces.

In recent weeks, paramilitary forces and police have poured into Tibet
and China's other ethnically Tibetan areas ? about a quarter of its
territory ? to head off any repeat of last year's unrest.
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