By Karolos Grohmann
BEIJING, August 22 - Foreign media are unable to provide a balanced account on China and its southwestern region of Tibet because they know little about either, Beijing Games organisers vice president Wang Wei said on Friday.
Wang was responding to a question put to the International Olympic Committee whether its decision to award the Games to Beijing was the right one given China's rule of Tibet and its human rights track record.
Calls for Tibetan independence were at the heart of demonstrations around the world during the Beijing Games international torch relay and several small protests were held in Beijing prior and during the Games.
The protests were triggered by China's crackdown on rioting in and around the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, in March.
"There is so much criticism in this room that reflects how biased media are on China, how little they know," Wang said.
"People do not know much about Tibet and you should ask people in Beijing about Tibet. I have friends in Tibet and their living standard has improved dramatically."
China says its troops liberated Tibet from feudal serfdom after they marched in in 1950. Since then, it has provided massive subsidies to help develop the remote region and brushes aside accusations of repression.
"It is better for you to know some things before you reach a conclusion," Wang said.
"The media want to find something to write about, but you cannot do it at a cost of sacrificing the people."
Critics say Tibet was illegally occupied and that Tibetans have been left out of the boom, creating an ethnic wealth gap between Han Chinese and Tibetans.
(Editing by Nick Macfie)