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Chinese FM: Respect fact on Lhasa riot
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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao on Monday urged relevant countries to respect fact and distinguish right and wrong on the riot in Lhasa.

Liu made the remarks in responding to a press question about some countries calling for solution on the incident via dialogue.

The action of the lawless persons is not at all a peace demonstration but a violent crime, Liu said. The law breakers killed innocent people brutally, arousing great indignation and condemnation from people of all ethnic groups in Tibet Autonomous Region.

Local government has taken legal measures to deal with the incident in order to maintain social stability, to defend the nation's legal system and to safeguard the fundamental interests of people of all ethnic groups in Tibet, he said.

The riot was organized, premeditated and fanned by the Dalai Lama clique, which not only caused heavy losses of life and property in the city but also seriously disturbed social order, Liu said.

He said the riot exposed once again the separatist character of the Dalai Lama clique and the hypocritical and fraudulent nature of its so-called "peace" and "non-violence" allegations.

Any attempts to split the motherland are firmly opposed by Chinese people of all ethnic groups including the Tibetan compatriots, and are doomed to failure, he said.

The international community widely acknowledges that Tibet is an inalienable part of China, and the Chinese government's stance on the issue of Dalai Lama has been broadly understood and supported by countries and peoples who uphold justice, he said.

The Chinese government will resolutely safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity, promote development and stability in Tibet, and protect the life and property safety of all people in Tibet, Liu said.

On March 14, violence involving fighting, destruction of property, looting and arson broke out in urban Lhasa.

Rioters set fires to more than 300 locations, including residences and 214 shops, smashed and burned 56 vehicles, and attacked schools, banks, hospitals, shops, government offices, utilities and state media offices.

(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2008)

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