News / Asia

China Criticizes Spanish Court's Arrest Orders for Chinese Officials

Exile Tibetans carry portraits of Tibetans who have immolated themselves in Tibet protesting Chinese rule, during a street protest in Dharmsala, India, Aug.29, 2012.
Exile Tibetans carry portraits of Tibetans who have immolated themselves in Tibet protesting Chinese rule, during a street protest in Dharmsala, India, Aug.29, 2012.
VOA News
China has criticized a Spanish court's decision to order the arrest of five former Chinese leaders accused of involvement in "genocidal" policies in Tibet.

At a Wednesday briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing wants a "clarification" of the court decision from the Spanish government. He said that if reports of the Spanish National Court ruling are correct, China is "strongly displeased" with what it called the court's "repeated manipulation" of the Tibet issue.

Hong said the Spanish government should "change" the court decision and repair "severe damage" to China-Spain relations. He also urged Madrid to refrain from sending "wrong signals" to Tibetan forces.

In Monday's ruling, distributed to the media a day later, the Spanish National Court called for the arrest of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and four other officials who held senior roles in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Associated Press quoted a Spanish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman as saying Madrid has no comment on China's reaction because the case is a judicial matter.

A group of Spain-based activists who support Tibetan rights initiated the "genocide" case against the five Chinese officials.

The activists filed the lawsuit in Spain under the country's universal jurisdiction system, which allows Spanish courts to prosecute alleged war crimes and genocide committed anywhere, provided the victims include Spaniards.

One of the plaintiffs is a Tibetan monk who holds Spanish citizenship, Thupten Wangchen. He responded to the Chinese statement in a phone call with VOA from Spain.

"This verdict from Spain's National Court has made the Chinese government frustrated and ashamed. The Chinese government's pressure on Spain may have some impact, but I am certain that Spanish law will stand," he said. "Since we have truth on our side, and we can prove our case, we will keep fighting until the end."

Most Spanish universal jurisdiction cases have not resulted in convictions of foreign suspects, as the suspects and their governments have refused to recognize the authority of the Spanish courts.

Many Tibetans accuse the Chinese government of repressing their religion and culture. China says Tibetans enjoy religious freedom and better living standards linked to Chinese investment in underdeveloped Tibetan regions of the country.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More