China beefs up Tibet border against "expected sabotage"

Other News Materials 9 March 2009 08:51 (UTC +04:00)

Chinese forces have tightened border controls between the Tibet Autonomous Region and neighbouring countries ahead of "expected sabotage activities" by supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama, state media said on Monday.

   "We have made due deployment and tightened controls at border ports, and key areas and passages along the border in Tibet," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Fu Hongyu, the political commissar of the public security ministry's Border Control Department, as saying in Beijing, dpa reported.

   "We will firmly crack down on criminal activities in Tibet's border area that pose a threat to China's sovereignty and government," Fu said.

   The tightening of Tibet's long Himalayan border with India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar was to ensure stability during the ongoing annual parliament in Beijing, and to guard against "expected sabotage activities by the Dalai Lama clique," the agency quoted him saying.

   The increased security preceded Tuesday's 50th anniversaries of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule and the flight into exile of the Dalai Lama.

   The agency quoted another senior official from the Autonomous Region as blaming the "Dalai clique" for violence last year and saying exiled Tibetans had increased "secessionist and sabotage activities" this year.

   Tension has reportedly risen in many Tibetan areas with the approach of the anniversary of widespread protests last spring.

   Several small protests were reported in Tibetan areas last month.

   The Chinese government also plan to celebrate "Serf emancipation day" on March 28 in Beijing and Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to mark 50 years of its socio-economic policies in Tibet.