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Dalai Lama's US visit denounced
( 2003-09-12 07:13) (China Daily)

China strongly opposes the United States' decision to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the country and meet with top leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Thursday.

Kong Quan, Foreign Ministry spokesman said China strongly opposes with the United States' decision to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the country. [Xinhua/file]

"The Dalai Lama is not simply a religious figure; he is a political figure living in exile who has long been committed to separatist activities and to undermining national unity," Kong told a regular press briefing.

"We have lodged serious representations with the United States and urged the US side to abide by its promise to recognize Tibet as part of China and not to support Tibet independence," Kong said.

He made the remarks in response to the Dalai Lama's three-week visit to the United States, which began on September 4, and his meeting with US President George W. Bush on Wednesday and US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Tuesday in Washington.

China has urged America to stop interfering on the Tibet issue, which is China's internal affair, so as not to harm China-US relations, the spokesman said.

He said the channel for contact between the central government and the Dalai Lama is open as long as the Dalai Lama abandons his separatist activities, both verbally and with actions, and acknowledges that Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China.

Last year, the Dalai Lama's elder brother visited Tibet for the first time in 50 years and officials have hosted visits to China by his personal envoys twice in the past year.

US President George W. Bush meets with the Dalai Lama at the White House, September 10, 2003. China voiced strong opposition on September 11 to the visit by Dalai Lama. [Reuters] 

When asked to comment on the Pentagon's annual report to the US Congress, which says China is adding 75 short-range missiles to its arsenal each year that could possibly reach Taiwan and that China is obtaining technology superior to that of US forces, Kong said there is no justification for criticizing the country's national defence measures and military deployments. China is a sovereign state and has the right to safeguard its national security and territorial integrity.

"China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, practises a national defence policy that is defensive in nature and sticks to the road of peaceful development," Kong said.

Turning to the consultation among foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on Iraq, Kong said the new UN resolution should be conducive to maintaining peace and order in Iraq, to promoting the country's resumption of its sovereignty and to speeding up its reconstruction.

"The full involvement of the UN role in the effort to reach this goal is indispensable," Kong said.

He said China is seriously studying the proposal by the United States and supports some ideas proposed by France, Germany and Russia during the UN discussion.

"We are willing to have in-depth exchanges of views with all parties and will take a constructive attitude in the consultations," he said, adding that China hopes consensus can be reached as soon as possible.

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