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Clinton Says Tibet, Human Rights Part of Broad US-China Dialogue


U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton says Tibet and human rights are part of a broad range of issues the U.S. is discussing with China.

Clinton said she raised the Tibet issue in her talks Wednesday with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Washington.

Clinton approved a statement Tuesday expressing deep concern about human rights in Tibet and accusing China of harming its religion, culture and livelihood. The statement came on the 50th anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.

Earlier Wednesday, China's foreign ministry spokesman rejected the U.S. criticism and accused Washington of interfering in China's affairs. Ma Zhaoxu said the Obama administration was confusing the facts and jeopardizing U.S.-China relations.

The U.S. House of Representatives marked the uprising anniversary Wednesday by passing a resolution urging China to end "repression" in Tibet. The non-binding measure won support from 422 lawmakers in the 435-member chamber.

Republican Representative Ron Paul from Texas cast the lone vote against the resolution.

China had urged U.S. lawmakers not to approve the measure.

The House resolution also calls on Beijing to lift "harsh policies" imposed on Tibetans and resume dialogue with the region's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma said such talks will make progress only if the spiritual leader stops campaigning for Tibetan independence.

The Dalai Lama denies seeking independence. In a speech to thousands of Tibetan exiles in northern India Tuesday, he repeated a call for greater autonomy for Tibet.

The Dalai Lama also accused Beijing of killing hundreds of thousands of Tibetans and bringing "untold suffering and destruction" to the region, calling it "hell on earth."

China's official Xinhua news agency ridiculed the comments, comparing the Dalai Lama to a child seeking to draw attention by "crying." It also said Tibet had become a "paradise on earth" under 58 years of Chinese rule.

Residents of Tibet's capital, Lhasa, said Chinese police maintained a heavy street presence Wednesday to prevent protests marking the anniversary of the 1959 uprising.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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