China denies Tibet closed for foreigners


(, Feb 26, 2009) — China is either lying or one branch of its government does not know what the other is doing, with the former being the more likely case. The recent closing of Tibet for foreign tourists has been reported by all major international news agencies and media, with travel agents cited as speaking of having received government orders to this effect. And yet, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told reporters Feb 26 that Tibet still remained open for foreign tourists, reported the AFP Feb 26.

“To my understanding, up to date, no agencies in Tibet have received instructions to restrict the entrance of foreign visitors to Tibet,” the report quoted Ma as saying. The report cited four government-run travel agencies in China and other industry people in Lhasa, as having told it that Tibet had been closed to foreign tourists.

The ban order came as Tibetans campaigned not to celebrate their Losar, or New Year, on Feb 25-27, but, rather, to devote the occasion to prayers and mourning for the hundreds killed by Chinese troops’ crackdown on Tibetan protests in spring last year.


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