DHARAMSHALA, January 27: The US government has said that it will raise the recent killings of Tibetans by security forces with Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping during his state visit next month.
The US government said that it was “seriously concerned” over reports of police firings on Tibetan demonstrators and the “continuing heightened tensions” in Tibet.
At least a dozen Tibetans are feared to have been killed in Chinese police firings in three separate incidents in Drongo, Serthar, and Ngaba, this week. The unarmed Tibetan demonstrators were calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile and protesting China’s continued occupation of Tibet when Chinese police began to fire indiscriminately without provocation.
“We have repeatedly urged the Chinese Government to address its counterproductive policies in the Tibetan areas, which have created tensions and threatened the unique religious, cultural, and linguistic identity of the Tibetan people,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters Tuesday.
“We urge the Chinese Government to engage in constructive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives as a means to address Tibetan concerns,” Nuland added while responding to media questions at a press briefing in Washington DC.
The State Department spokesperson also said that the US will raise the killings of Tibetans with China’s heir apparent Xi Jinping, during his US visit in February.
Nuland said the US has always been clear about raising human rights issues with China at every level.
“We will be just as clear on this visit as we have been in other encounters at the high level with Chinese officials,” the spokesperson added.
US Special Coordinator for Tibet Maria Otero in a statement earlier this week had urged Chinese security forces to exercise restraint and renewed calls to allow access to Tibetan areas of China for journalists, diplomats and other observers.