China tells France to prudently deal with Tibet issue
Chinese foreign minister spokesman says China hopes French ministers meeting up with Dalai Lama will prudently deal with relevant important and sensitive issues.21 August 2008
BEIJING -- China told France to prudently deal with the "important and sensitive" issue of Tibet on Wednesday, two days before French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner was due to meet with the Dalai Lama.
"We hope the French side will respect China's concern and prudently deal with relevant important and sensitive issues," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters in response to a question on the meeting.
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, is currently in France for a 12-day visit which has stirred up tensions with China.
He is due to meet with Kouchner, first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and Human Rights minister Rama Yade on Friday in southern France.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has declined to hold talks with the Dalai Lama.
Qin also said France should ensure the "safe and sound development of China-France relations".
France is struggling to mend ties with China after Sarkozy angered Beijing by threatening to boycott the opening of the Beijing Games following a Chinese crackdown on violence in Tibet and surrounding regions beginning in March.
The violence erupted in Tibet's capital Lhasa after four days of peaceful protests against nearly six decades of Chinese rule.
[AFP / Expatica]
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