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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

China-funded stadium to be named after Dalai Lama

January 24, 2010

January 22, 2010

Beijing -- The Chinese government has said a
Costa Rican presidential candidate's pledge to
name a stadium in San Jose after Tibetan
spiritual leader Dalai Lama "is not in line with
the common desires of the two countries".

In a statement to EFE on Thursday, the Chinese
Foreign Ministry said the stadium "represents the
Chinese people's friendship with Costa Ricans".
China has contributed USD 83 million to build it.

The ministry was responding to statements by
Otton Solis, leader of the centre-left Citizen
Action Party, that he would name the stadium
after the exiled leader to highlight Costa Rica's lack of economic dependence.

The Dalai Lama has been living in exile in
Dharamsala in India since a failed Tibetan
uprising against the Chinese government in 1959.
He acknowledges that Tibet is part of China, but
Beijing still considers him a revolutionary.

The 35,000-capacity stadium will have offices for
32 sports federations, giant video screens, a
sports museum, a track-and-field course and rooms
for table tennis, fencing and chess.

Costa Rican authorities are planning to
inaugurate the stadium in February or March of
2011 with sporting activities, a concert by a
famous artist and a soccer game between Costa Rica and China.

The stadium is one of the flagship projects
stemming from the resumption of diplomatic
relations between Costa Rica and China June 1,
2007, which required the severing of ties between
the Central American country and Taiwan, regarded
by Beijing as a renegade province.
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