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China opposes Paris award for Dalai Lama
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China on Tuesday condemned the honorary citizen award from Paris for the Dalai Lama, saying it posed "a grave interference in Sino-French relations".

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said China was indignant and resolutely opposed Paris's award for the Dalai Lama made despite China's opposition.

Qin told a regular press conference it was another overt provocation, following last year's Paris City Council vote to award the Dalai Lama honorary citizenship.

"Such a move stirs strong indignation among the Chinese people, " Qin said, noting that inevitably, it would severely undermine the cooperation between Paris and Chinese cities, and gravely disturb China-France relations.

China held a clear, persistent and firm position over the Tibet issue, which was related to China's core interests and major political concern, he said. This issue was also linked with China's sovereignty, and influenced national emotion.

Qin said he hoped France would join with China in cherishing the hard-won achievement of bilateral ties, earnestly fulfill agreements, make efforts to remove all disturbance, and promote the healthy and stable growth of the relationship.

Qin urged Paris to stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and immediately correct its wrongdoing.

This move by the Paris government gravely damaged the city's image among the Chinese, Qin said. A poll on the website of the Global Times found more than 87 percent of voters firmly opposed the Paris move.

Paris should bear all the blame, Qin said, urging Paris to take the right attitude towards the Chinese people's voice, and stop its offence to the Chinese people, in a bid to create an essential condition for the cooperation with Chinese cities.

(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2009)

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