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Nation hopes US envoy respects facts on Tibet: FM

Global Times

By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/20 21:53:40

China welcomed Terry Branstad, the US Ambassador to China, to visit Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, and hopes he could draw his own conclusions based on facts without prejudice, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Branstad is to see and understand the significant changes in the society, economy and people's lives in Tibet after the peaceful liberation some 60 years ago, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a routine press conference on Monday.

Lu said that he hopes Branstad could draw his own conclusions based on respecting facts without prejudice, instead of being deluded or disturbed by hearsay or speeches, especially on the protection of culture, religion and promotion of history.

Branstad was scheduled to visit Tibet and its neighboring Qinghai Province from Sunday to Saturday, Reuters reported on Monday.

"This visit is a chance for the ambassador to engage with local leaders to raise longstanding concerns about restrictions on religious freedom and the preservation of Tibetan culture and language," Reuters quoted a spokesperson of the US embassy as saying in an emailed statement.

Branstad's visit could serve as an opportunity for US officials to have a correct understanding of Tibet, change their improper policies on Tibet, and pave the way for improving ties between China and the US, Zhu Weiqun, former head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body, told the Global Times.

After seeing Tibet's development, US officials could have a comprehensive understanding on China, and realize that taking China as an enemy and suppressing China through ways like a trade war will never succeed, Zhu said.

The visit, the first to the region by a US ambassador since 2015, came after the US Congress passed a bill in 2018 denying the entry of Chinese officials involved in restricting foreigners from visiting Tibet. Some US officials have accused China on Tibet's religious, cultural and other policies, and criticized China for banning them from visiting the region.

Even if some US politicians use the opportunity to attack China on its Tibet policies, China would not care as the overall situation and future development of Tibet are in the hands of the Chinese people and could not be shaken by outside forces, Zhu said.

Lu said at a press conference in December 2018 that nearly 40,000 US people have visited Tibet since 2015.

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