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EU meeting on Tibet opposed
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China on Sunday voiced its "strong dissatisfaction" over the EU foreign ministers' discussion of and comments on the Tibet issue during their meeting in Slovenia.

"The Tibet issue is completely China's internal affairs. No foreign countries or international organizations have the right to interfere in it," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu.

The EU foreign ministers issued a statement on the Tibet situation Saturday after their meeting in Brdo, Slovenia.

"We strongly hope the EU and its member states will make a clear distinction between right and wrong, explicitly condemn the violent crimes of beating, smashing, looting and burning and all those offenders, and avoid taking double standards," Jiang said.

She said the EU should not rub salt into the wounds of the innocent victims of the Lhasa riots on March 14 and send a wrong signal to the international community and the Dalai clique and encourage the Tibetan secessionists in their violent crimes.

The riots had disrupted the cultural and religious activities of local people and sabotaged the social order. These are violent crimes that had seriously infringed on human rights and endangered the security of people's lives and their property, she said.

"Every single responsible country in the world would take measures according to the law to stop such kind of violent crime," she said.

The government of the Tibet autonomous region had exercised great restraint in the whole process of handling the incident, Jiang said, adding the government had maintained social justice, resumed social order as soon as possible and gained support of the people including ethnic Tibetans.

She said the Chinese government has all along attached great importance to protecting human rights and preserving traditional Tibetan culture and religion. It has invested great manpower and funds to protect, preserve and build cultural and religious institutions, to cater to the needs of Tibetan people.

China currently has more than 50 institutions engaged in Tibet study and most of their scholars are ethnic Tibetans, Jiang added.

Concerning the Tibetan language, she said both Tibetan and Chinese are taught and used in Tibet, with Tibetan language as the main language. Tibetan language is a main course in schools of every kind.

She added the Tibetan language has become the first language used by an ethnic minority group in China for which an international standard has been set up.

Besides, the central government has invested huge funds in the preservation and maintenance of monasteries and religious sites including the Potala Palace and the Jokhang Temple.

There are currently more than 1,780 religious sites in Tibet with over 46,000 monks and nuns, Jiang said, adding religious freedom is fully respected in Tibet.

With regard to China's stance towards the Dalai Lama, she said the policy of the Chinese government has always been consistent.

As long as he truly abandons advocating "Tibet independence" and stops activities aimed at splitting the motherland, especially activities to fan and mastermind violent crimes in Tibet and other regions and to sabotage the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games, and accepts that Tibet and Taiwan are both inalienable parts of China, the Chinese government is willing to continue contacts and talks with him.

"We should not only listen what he says, but also watch what he does," Jiang said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2008)

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