Top US Diplomat Criticizes China’s Treatment of Tibetans

Posted November 11th, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The United States says China must improve its human rights record, including its treatment of Tibetans.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the United States is “alarmed” by recent incidents of people lighting themselves on fire in “desperate acts of protest” against China.

Eleven Tibetan monks and nuns have set themselves on fire since March in China's Sichuan province, protesting Chinese policies that Tibetans say brutally suppress Buddhism. Last week, a Tibetan exile set himself on fire in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.

Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has called the practice “cultural genocide.”

Clinton also voiced concern about blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng, who has been under house arrest since he completed a jail term in September. Human rights groups say Chen and his wife have been beaten by authorities while under house detention.

Chen was jailed in 2006 after accusing family planning officials of forcing women to undergo abortions or sterilization, in adherence to China's one-child policy.

China blames the self-immolations on the Dalai Lama, accusing him of advocating violence and Tibetan separatism. He denies the charges.

Chinese forces took over Tibet in 1951. The Dalai Lama fled to exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.