News / Asia

US Ambassador Comments on China’s Tibetan Policies

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.
x
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.
U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012.
Shannon Sant
Following a series of self-immolation protests, the U.S. Ambassador to China is speaking out on Beijing's policies toward Tibetans.  In an online Town Hall Meeting with citizens in cities across the United States, Gary Locke also spoke about his trip last month to Tibetan monasteries.
 
“We implore the Chinese to really meet with the representatives of the Tibetan people to address and re-examine some of the policies that have led to some of the restrictions and the violence and the self-immolations, and we are very concerned with the human rights condition here in China,” said Ambassador Locke.

Senior Chinese officials have rejected calls to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama or with authorities from the Tibetan exile government based in northern India.  

During the online discussion, Locke also acknowledged his recent visit to Aba prefecture of China’s Sichuan Province, where nearly two-thirds of the Tibetans who have set themselves on fire lived.

Seven Tibetans reportedly self-immolated last week, bringing the total number to nearly 60 since 2009.  While U.S. representatives have raised the Tibetan issue with China’s government, it is rare for a U.S. ambassador to visit Tibetan areas.

Locke says he traveled to the region to get an appreciation of Tibetan culture and way of life.

“We have very serious concerns about the violence, the self immolations that have occurred over the last several years, very deplorable,” said Locke. "Nobody wants that type of action, or people having to resort to that type of action. Too many deaths, too many deaths.”

A State Department spokesperson earlier confirmed Locke’s trip to the area after a reporter for The New York Times posted a picture of Locke greeting an elderly monk.


The Times says Locke visited two monasteries in Songpan, about 160-kilometers east of the town Aba.  While Aba has frequently been closed to travelers since the protests began, Songpan has remained a popular tourist destination.

Uprisings against Chinese rule have swept the Tibetan plateau since 2008 when protests spread from Lhasa to Sichuan and Qinghai.  China has responded with a harsh crackdown and heavy security presence.

When asked about Ambassador Locke’s call to reexamine Tibetan policies Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei rejected the comments.   

He says what he called a “political scheme” should be condemned in the strongest terms.  He says Tibetan affairs are China’s internal affairs and China opposes any effort to interfere in internal affairs in any way.

Tibetans have denied the immolations are planned by an outside force and say the protests are a response to repressive policies by the Chinese government that restrict their freedom of religion and human rights.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: VOB from: China
October 31, 2012 8:06 AM
we don't see those monks have been restricted in terms of religious freedom. Their self-immolation is the result of brain-wash.

In Response

by: Bob William Knight
November 06, 2012 11:57 AM
vob china destroyed 6000Tibetam monasteries china killed raped and tortured 2million Tibetans you dont believe then you braonwashed


by: Adam from: China
October 31, 2012 5:32 AM
The Tibetan issues have been lingering for such a long history without solutions. The long-hauled self immolations do have heavily punched the image of the Chinese authorities,and the dim plight of the Tibetan people has to be urgently addressed because the Tibetan people are our compatriots,sisters and brothers,we're supposed to share the same prosperities and opportunities but the facts speak in the opposite way,there must be some complicated and sophisticated factors standing in the way,I pray deeply for thoese immolators.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid