The US on Friday said it remains concerned over the issue of human rights in Tibet and would continue to support the cultural rights of Tibetans within China,even as President Barack Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama ruffled feathers in Beijing.
“We have ongoing concerns about human rights conditions among the Tibetan areas of China. At the same time,we consider Tibet to be a part of China,” Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley told reporters.
He said the President would continue to support the dialogue that has resumed recently between the Dalai Lama and China,and would also continue to support the “cultural rights of Tibetans within China”.
The State Department spokesman made these remarks in response to a question soon after the Dalai Lama met Obama.
“I think we are supportive of dialogue and non-violent resolutions of the issues that they have,” Crowley said.
Human rights is of vital importance to the US and it is an issue in its ongoing relationship with China,Crowley said.
“We have shown repeatedly that where we have concerns about human rights with respect to China,whether it’s about the unjust prosecution and jailing of political figures in China or it’s about activities that restrict the availability of information to the citizens of China,we are going to speak out forcefully when we have these kinds of concerns,” he said.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureates met away from cameras in the White House Map Room in what is being billed as a low-key meeting,which China had warned would impact Sino-US ties.
China reacted angrily,accusing the US of grossly violating international norms and asking it to stop “conniving and supporting” anti-China separatist forces.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama stated his strong support for the preservation of Tibet’s unique religious,cultural and linguistic identity and the protection of human rights for Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China.
Crowley said the US has a “very broad relationship with China” and human rights was one “a dimension of it”.
He said the issue was “vitally important,but so are regional security issues; you know,such as North Korea,such as Iran”.
“And we have ongoing concerns and discussions about,you know,the global economic situation,” he said in response to a question.
Referring to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement earlier this month that the US had a broad relationship with China,he said: “It wasn’t that statement was not discounting the importance of human rights”.
“It was recognising that the relationship between the US and China is broad,it’s deep,it’s complex,but human rights will always be a dimension and something that we are prepared to address whenever we have concerns,” he said.