US urges China to refrain from violence in Tibet

March 15th, 2008 - 8:06 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 15 (DPA) The US ambassador to Beijing has met with a top Chinese official to appeal to the Chinese government to abstain from the use of force to quell protests by Buddhist monks in Tibet, the US State Department said. Ambassador Clark T Randt met Friday with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui “to urge that the Chinese government, in responding to protesters, turn away from use of force or violence,” spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Clashes erupted in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, this week after monks took to the streets to protest Chinese rule.

The White House said President George W. Bush was calling on the Chinese to hold dialogue with Tibet’s religious leader, the Dalai Lama, to end the unrest.

“We believe Beijing needs to respect Tibetan culture; they need to respect multi-ethnicity in their society,” said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman.

Meanwhile, the US embassy in Beijing has warned American citizens to avoid travel to Tibet, citing reports of rioting in Lhasa and first hand accounts from US citizens of gunfire.

The embassy told Americans already in Tibet to stay away from areas where demonstrations were taking place and to seek safe havens in hotels or other buildings and to remain indoors.

“All care should be taken to avoid unnecessary movement within (Lhasa) until the situation is under control,” the embassy’s message said.

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