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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?"

Clinton Says Tibet, Human Rights Part of Broad US-China Dialogue

March 16, 2009

By VOA News
11 March 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says Tibet and human rights are
part of a broad range of issues the U.S. is discussing with China.

Clinton said she raised the Tibet issue in her talks Wednesday with
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Washington.

Clinton approved a statement Tuesday expressing deep concern about human
rights in Tibet and accusing China of harming its religion, culture and
livelihood. The statement came on the 50th anniversary of a failed
Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

Earlier Wednesday, China's foreign ministry spokesman rejected the U.S.
criticism and accused Washington of interfering in China's affairs. Ma
Zhaoxu said the Obama administration was confusing the facts and
jeopardizing U.S.-China relations.

The U.S. House of Representatives marked the uprising anniversary
Wednesday by passing a resolution urging China to end "repression" in
Tibet. The non-binding measure won support from 422 lawmakers in the
435-member chamber.

Republican Representative Ron Paul from Texas cast the lone vote against
the resolution.

China had urged U.S. lawmakers not to approve the measure.

The House resolution also calls on Beijing to lift "harsh policies"
imposed on Tibetans and resume dialogue with the region's exiled
spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma said such talks will make progress
only if the spiritual leader stops campaigning for Tibetan independence.

The Dalai Lama denies seeking independence. In a speech to thousands of
Tibetan exiles in northern India Tuesday, he repeated a call for greater
autonomy for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama also accused Beijing of killing hundreds of thousands of
Tibetans and bringing "untold suffering and destruction" to the region,
calling it "hell on earth."

China's official Xinhua news agency ridiculed the comments, comparing
the Dalai Lama to a child seeking to draw attention by "crying." It also
said Tibet had become a "paradise on earth" under 58 years of Chinese rule.

Residents of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, said Chinese police maintained a
heavy street presence Wednesday to prevent protests marking the
anniversary of the 1959 uprising.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.
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