US Renews Calls On China to Respect Minority Rights

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 6:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States has renewed its call on China to respect the rights of Tibetans and to address policies in Tibetan areas that have created tensions.

A spokeswoman for the State Department, Victoria Nuland, told reporters Tuesday that the U.S. government is concerned about recent self-immolations of Tibetan monks, and the clear anger and frustration this trend represents.

Nuland said Washington has repeatedly urged China to respect Tibet's unique religious, cultural and linguistic identity, and the rights of all Chinese citizens who peacefully express their desire for internationally recognized freedoms.

China routinely rejects criticism of its treatment of minorities and calls it interference in its internal affairs.

Tibetan exile groups say at least seven Tibetan monks have set themselves on fire this year to draw the world's attention to what they consider China's repressive religious policies.

In a most recent case, two teenagers set themselves on fire Friday in a Tibetan area of southwest China to protest the government's religious controls.

The two were former monks at Kirti Monastery in Sichuan province. Tibetan exile groups say both of them have died from burns.