Dharamsala, February 3: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday urged China to resolve the ‘underlying issues’ in Tibet.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama points at the part of his arm where he was experiencing pain as he leaves for the airport in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009. The Dalai Lama was released from a hospital in India's capital after doctors determined that minor pain in his arms was caused by a pinched nerve, his spokesman said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
Addressing a joint press conference with visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Brown also indicated that his country sought improvement on the human rights front in the world's most populous nation.
"The UK will continue through our regular dialogue to seek rapid progress towards all international human rights standards and I urge further dialogue on the Chinese government to resolve the underlying issues in Tibet," Brown said.
Brown tempered this implied criticism, however, by crediting Wen's social and economic policies with "lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty".
Prior to Wen’s visit, Brown has been warned not to sacrifice human rights concerns to the prospect of boosting exports.
Wen's visit has been marked by raucous street protests in London, which saw around 50 pro-Tibetan demonstrators gather outside 10 Downing Street on Monday. Five pro-Tibet demonstrators were arrested in London on Sunday.
Pro-Tibetan protesters demonstrate outside the gates of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of Britain's PM. (Photo: Indian Express)
Tibet saw massive anti-China protests in March 2008 resulting in a harsh clampdown from Chinese authorities.
Brown insisted that human rights concerns had not been forgotten in the bilateral relationship.
In a written ministerial statement
issued in October last year, British government went on to acknowledge that the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama has actually met conditions set by the Chinese government in order to have dialogue for a negotiated settlement on Tibet’s issue.
“Chinese Government has said that it is serious about dialogue and that it hopes for a positive outcome. It has set conditions for dialogue which we believe the Dalai Lama has met,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband stated in the statement.
“No government which is committed to promoting international respect for human rights can remain silent on the issue of Tibet, or disinterested in a solution to its problems,” the statement further emphasised.