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Pelosi praises progress in Tibet

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-11-13 11:37

US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and six other Democratic lawmakers traveled to Tibet before meeting the head of China's top legislature in Beijing on Thursday.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Thursday confirmed Pelosi's delegation's visit to Tibet but gave no details. A press release posted later Thursday on the ministry's website said that Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), met Pelosi and her delegation that day in Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Zhang applauded the state visit to the US by Chinese President Xi Jinping in late September, saying it sent a positive message to the outside world of China and US committing to more dialogue and cooperation.

Zhang called for more communication, exchange and practical cooperation between the NPC and the US Congress based on a spirit of mutual respect and seeking common ground.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Pelosi spoke highly of the summit between leaders of the two nations and said she also expects both governing bodies to bolster exchange, cooperation and friendship between the two peoples.

Before the meeting, the US delegation also held talks with Zhang Ping, vice-chairman of the NPC Standing Committee. The US delegation's visit was at the invitation of NPC Standing Committee.

Besides Pelosi, the US delegation included the following Democratic members of Congress: Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Betty McCollum and Timothy Walz of Minnesota, and Alan Lowenthal and Ted Lieu of California.

The Tibet Daily reported on Thursday that Chen Guoquan, Party secretary of the Tibet autonomous region, met in Lhasa on Tuesday afternoon with the US delegation.

The meeting was attended by other leaders in the autonomous region as well as monks and nuns from several Tibetan temples.

Chen extended a welcome to the US delegation and expressed his appreciation to the efforts and contributions made by Pelosi in supporting the healthy development of China-US relations over the years.

He said he hoped that on issues relating to Tibet, the US will keep its promise of respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and does not support activities aimed at separating China.

Pelosi praises progress in Tibet

He called on the US not to allow a visit by the Dalai Lama and not to provide any form of support of activities by Tibetan separatist forces.

Chen also briefed US lawmakers of the social and economic development of Tibet and hoped Pelosi would have a deeper understanding of Tibet through the visit.

He said he also hoped Pelosi will help introduce the real, prosperous and harmonious Tibet to Americans and the world.

Pelosi thanked the autonomous region for the good arrangement, saying the US will adhere to the One China principle and acknowledge Tibet as part of China's territory, according to the Tibet Daily.

She described the visits to temples, schools, communities and local residents' homes and the deep interactions as greatly helping their understanding of Tibet in a comprehensive way.

Pelosi spoke highly of the great transformation in the new Tibet and the efforts by the Chinese government in guaranteeing freedom of religion, protecting ethnic tradition and culture and ecological environment.

"Thanks to the efforts by the Chinese government, the living standards of Chinese people, including Tibetan people, have improved significantly. People all over the world have recognized this, and you have every reason to feel proud of this," Pelosi was quoted as saying by the Tibet Daily.

chenweihua@chinadailyusa.com

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