By Phurbu Thinley
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (C) and Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama meet in Gdansk December 6, 2008. (REUTERS/Eric Feferberg/Pool/Files)
Dharamsala, May 7: China on Thursday warned Paris not to make more "errors" on Tibet by honouring the Dalai Lama with its honorary citizenship when he visits the city next month.
"If the Paris city government does make this award, it will definitely meet once again with the Chinese people's firm opposition," AFP
reported foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying during a regular news briefing in Beijing.
"We urge the Paris side to stop doing things that interfere in China's internal affairs and make no further errors on the Tibet-related issue."
"With the concerted efforts of people from both countries, bilateral relations have finally returned to a sound and stable development track," Ma said.
A Human Rights activist hold flares in front of a Tibetan flag as he demontrates near the Effeil tower in Paris in early August 2008. China has warned Paris not to make more "errors" on Tibet amid news the Dalai Lama may be made an honorary citizen of the French capital, just as frosty ties between the two nations had improved. (AFP/File/Patrick Kovarik)
The Dalai Lama may receive the title of honorary citizen of Paris from the mayor Bertrand Delanoe when His Holiness visits France from June 6 to 8.
This is not the first time China has asked France not to grant the exiled Tibetan leader honorary citizenship of Paris.
When Paris city council, led by socialist Delanoe, approved a resolution in April 2008 to honour the Dalai Lama, it reportedly provoked a sharp response from China at the time. Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese state media carried a report cautioning France that such move would affect
the Sino-French ties.
Sino-France relations soured considerably after French President Nicolas Sarkozy defied stern warning from Beijing and met with the exiled Tibetan leader in Poland in December 2008.
"A year ago, the city of Paris made a decision to make the Dalai Lama a so-called honorary citizen, which made the Chinese people very angry," Reuters
quoted Ma as saying at the news briefing.
"If the city of Paris makes him a so-called honorary citizen, it will certainly once again be opposed by the Chinese people. We demand the Paris city government stop all actions which interfere in China's internal affairs and not make the same mistakes again and again on the Tibet issue."
According to Reuters
, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman separately rebuffed an attempt by a Spanish judge to be allowed to interrogate eight senior Chinese officials about unrest in Tibet last year.
A Madrid judge asked on Tuesday
to be allowed to question eight Chinese officials, including China's defence minister, as part of a probe into the deaths of at least 203 Tibetans and the disappearance or arrest of another 5,972 during anti-China unrest in 2008.