After US Special Coordinator on Tibetan Issues Maria Otero issued a statement critical of China's Tibetan policy, the communist government predictably responded in kind.
On Dec. 5 Otero wrote:
"The United States is deeply concerned and saddened by the continuing violence in Tibetan areas of China and the increasing frequency of self-immolations by Tibetans."
Since 2009, ninety-two Tibetans self-immolated to protest what many see as Chinese occupation. Diplomats, foreign journalists and tourists have been prohibited from entering and reporting events on the Tibetan plateau.
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Otero went on to condemn the government's crackdown:
"Chinese authorities have responded to these tragic incidents with measures that tighten already strict controls on freedoms of religion, expression, assembly and association of Tibetans." (Read the full statement here.)
On Friday China issued a statement in response via Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei. Hong blamed the exiled 14th Dalai Lama for instigating self-immolations. AFP news agency points out China "did not offer any proof of such actions."
"The relevant US official issued a so-called statement and did not condemn the anti-Chinese splittist conduct of the Dalai Lama clique and Tibetan independence forces and actually attacked and rebuked China's important ethnic policies; it is totally confusing black with white and right with wrong," Hong said.
Hong added, "It is sending a serious wrong message to Tibetan splittist forces and is utterly disgusting. China is extremely dissatisfied with this and resolutely opposes it. We have already made solemn representations with the US side."
Washington urged the Chinese government to meet with the Dali Lama or his representatives "without preconditions."