President Bush raises Tibet concerns with Chinese leader Hu

Other News Materials 27 March 2008 00:24 (UTC +04:00)

US President George W Bush telephoned Chinese President Hu Jintao Wednesday to express his concerns over Beijing's crackdown on protests in Tibet, the White House said. ( dpa )

Bush also urged Hu to hold talks with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and allow access to Tibet for journalists and diplomats, spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

US officials have urged Beijing to refrain from using force to quell demonstrations that began earlier this month against Chinese rule.

On Taiwan, Bush told Hu that Saturday's election of a new president on the island provided a "fresh opportunity" for Beijing and Taipei to resolve their differences, Perino said. China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province.

The two leaders also discussed the diplomatic efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear programme, Perino said.