EU hopes to see 'positive developments' on Tibet soon

Other News Materials 25 April 2008 11:39 (UTC +04:00)

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he was "encouraged" by talks he had with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tibet Friday in Beijing, dpa reported.

"I am particularly encouraged by our exchanges on Tibet," said Barroso after meeting with Wen. "I hope to see positive developments soon."

Barroso reaffirmed that the EU considers Tibet a part of China, and repeated his resistance against a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

For the Olympics to " be a success" they must take place "in a peaceful atmosphere," said the European leader, adding that it was necessary that "human rights are comprehensively respected."

Barroso did not give further details of the discussions which he described as an "open exchange." Journalists were not allowed to ask questions during a joint press conference held in the China's Great Hall of the People.

China's leader said only that he had described the Chinese position on Tibet to Barroso.

It was the first round of a series of high-ranking meetings between China and the European Union, which had been agreed upon months ago.

Barroso traveled to Beijing with nine European Union commissioners to address a range of topics from climate protection, trade and market issues to energy cooperation.

The talks have been overshadowed by protests against Chinese authorities in Tibet and a security crackdown there. The government's harsh reaction to the unrest has prompted calls in Europe for a boycott of the opening ceremony of this summer's Beijing Olympics.

In addition, the European Chamber of Commerce in China has complained that new visa rules ahead of the Olympics is making it difficult to conduct between the European Union and China.

Among other restrictions to business travelers, China has declared no new multiple-entry visas would be issued until October.