Tibet is our internal affair, never restricted access to foreigners, says China over US visa row

WION Web Team Beijing Jul 08, 2020, 06.24 PM(IST)

Tibet protest Photograph:( AFP )

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The foreign ministry spokesman asserted that China 'firmly opposes' acts by the United States as it imposed reciprocal visa restrictions on US individuals 'who behaved egregiously on the issue of Tibet'

After the US government said that it was restricting visas to Chinese officials over Tibet over "meaningful autonomy", the Chinese foreign ministry said it has "repeatedly made clear its stern stand on the so-called Reciprocal Access To Tibet Act of 2018 of the United States."

Also Read: US will restrict visas for Chinese officials over Tibet, Pompeo says

"Tibetan affairs are China's internal affairs, brooking no outside interference. As China is pursuing an opening-up policy, Tibet is open and it has never restricted access to foreigners. In fact, Tibet receives a large number of foreign visitors and people from all walks of life," China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

The foreign ministry spokesman asserted that China "firmly opposes" acts by the United States as it imposed reciprocal visa restrictions on US individuals "who behaved egregiously on the issue of Tibet".

"Last year, more than 40 million tourists from domestic and abroad visited Tibet. The US ambassador to China Terry Branstad also made a visit to the region last year, and held talks with a number of departments of the government of the autonomous region. Related reports can be found in the media, it indicates that there is not any restriction for the access of foreignersm," China's foreign minsitry official said.

However, Pompeo in a statement had said that "Beijing has continued to systematically obstruct travel to the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other Tibetan areas by US diplomats and other officials, journalists and tourists". The US action came a day after the 85th birthday of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet who had fled China's rule in 1959 to settle in a life of exile in India.

The US Congress had passed a law two years ago to pressure China over its restrictions in Tibet.

"China welcomes more foreigners visiting Tibet for sightseeing or business, and this police will not change, but on condition that they must abide by China`s law and related restrictions, and fulfill necessary procedures," China's foreign ministry spokesman asserted.