China welcomes India's stance on Tibet protests

Other News Materials 18 March 2008 14:38 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - China on Tuesday welcomed the Indian government's efforts to contain protests by Tibetan independence activists, as it intensified its rhetoric against the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist leader who lives in exile in India.

"We appreciate the position and the steps taken by the Indian government in handling the Tibetan independence activities masterminded by the Dalai clique," Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters.

"The Tibet issue is a sensitive one in our relations with India," Wen said, adding that both sides had "broad agreement" on the issue.

"I hope the Indian government will follow the agreement reached between the two countries," he said at the end of China's annual parliament.

Indian police on Thursday detained 102 Tibetan demonstrators who planned to cross the border into China's Tibet Autonomous Region before the Beijing Olympics to highlight alleged human rights violations and demand greater freedom for Tibetans in the region.

About 100 Tibetans were also detained in New Delhi on Friday and Saturday for trying to force their way into the Chinese embassy to protest against the crackdown in Lhasa, the capital of the Autonomous Region.

Wen on Tuesday accused supporters of the Dalai Lama of encouraging violence in Lhasa and said the government had "exercised extreme restraint" in confronting protesters.

He also said India and China could make progress on resolving their border disputes if they followed the principle of "equality and mutual benefit" and the "political parameters" set in 2005, since when the two sides have held 11 rounds of talks.

Some of the long-standing border issues date from a 1962 war along their 4,000-kilometre Himalayan frontier.

The Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's highest leader, fled to India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against the occupation of Tibet by Chinese troops since 1951.

The current Tibetan protests began on March 10 to mark the 49th anniversary of the uprising.