Germany calls on Beijing to lift information block on Tibet
China's policy of expelling journalists was harming itself, Steinmeier said
Berlin -- Germany called for Beijing to lift the block on information coming out of Tibet.
"The German government says unambiguously to the Chinese: Be open. We want to know exactly what has happened in Tibet," Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in comments published in the mass circulation Bild newspaper.
China's policy of expelling journalists was harming itself, Steinmeier said in remarks to appear in Bild's Saturday edition.
And he warned that the pending Olympic games in Beijing would bring thousands of reporters into China. "Then nothing can be swept under the carpet."
The German foreign minister called on both sides to make concessions and said he planned to telephone his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, during the Easter weekend.
Earlier this week, Berlin halted aid talks with Beijing, which mainly involve grants to reduce air pollution by power plants.
The move marks a fresh upset in Berlin-Beijing relations, which had only recently been patched up after the Chinese were angered at Chancellor Angela Merkel receiving the Dalai Lama in her office in September.
The inter-government aid talks, set to begin in May, would not begin until the violence had stopped, German Development Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul said.
On Thursday, Chinese police expelled two German-speaking journalists from Lhasa, putting them on a train to Xining, the capital of neighboring Qinghai province.
DPA with Expatica