China denies invading Tibet, vows to improve ethnic autonomy


(, Feb 15) – China refuted comments by Lithuanian councillors who expressed support for the Dalai Lama’s claim that “China invaded Tibet” and stressed that Tibet was never an independent country, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 12. “Tibet has never been an independent country, which is an unchangeable historical fact. We hope the relevant councillors could develop more understanding of history,” it quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu as telling a regular press conference in response to a question on the matter.

The report said neither Jiang nor the reporters who asked the question mentioned the names of the councillors. It was also, obviously, not clear in what context the Lithuanian councillors had taken the stand and whether the incident was recent.

“The Chinese government and people have an unswerving stance on these issues and will not submit to any foreign pressure, nor make any concession,” Jiang was quoted as saying.

Xinhua also cited Jiang as saying China would maintain and improve the system of regional autonomy of ethnic minorities, support Tibet’s social and economic development and ensure the interests of all ethnic groups. This, however, did not appear to signal any new move towards ensuring a semblance of real autonomy for Tibet et al.


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