Beijing: China has made a ‘stern request’ to US citizens, urging them to obey Chinese laws while in the country. This came close on the heels of five American tourists who were arrested for engaging in pro-Dalai Lama “separatist activities” in Tibet.
“The Chinese government and people cannot tolerate any attempt to split China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Liu Jianchao said.
Criticising “separatist activities” of the five US citizens, Liu said China has been in contact with the American government over the issue. The official was responding to a question concerning the activities of the five mountaineers at a base camp of Mount Everest earlier this week.
The Americans unfurled a banner calling for freedom and independence for Tibet. Chinese public security and border forces discovered the tourists and immediately stopped their action, Liu said.
The Foreign Ministry said the tourists have been ordered to leave the country. China has informed the US government and made representation over the issue according to international pacts and China-US consulate treaty, he said.
“The Chinese government has asked the US side to remind its citizens they must obey Chinese laws and regulations, while visiting China,” Liu said.
Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, has attracted huge number of followers in the West, especially in the United States. The Bush administration has been pressing Beijing to start direct talks with the Dalai Lama.