Keep away from Tibet, Hu tells US

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Jan 21 (PTI) Chinese President Hu Jintao haswarned the US to keep away from Tibet or else bilateral tieswould be greatly affected, a day after his Americancounterpart Barack Obama asked him to talk to representativesof the Dalai Lama to resolve the issue.

Hu, who is on a four-day State Visit to the US, the firstby a Chinese President in 13 years, said Taiwan and Tibetrepresent the core interests of his country and touch upon thenational sentiments of 1.3 billion Chinese.

"A review of the history of our relations tells us thatChina-US relations will enjoy smooth and steady growth whenthe two countries handle well issues involving each other''smajor interests. Otherwise, our relations will face a constanttrouble or even tension," Hu said in his address to theUS-China Business Council Luncheon yesterday.

"Taiwan and Tibet-related issues concern China''ssovereignty and territorial integrity, and they representChina''s core interests. They touch upon the nationalsentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese. We hope that the USwill honour its commitments and work with us to preserve thehard-won progress of our relations," Hu said.

Such hard-hitting remarks from the Chinese leader came aday after Obama asked him to talk to the representatives ofthe Dalai Lama to resolve the Tibet issue.

"Even as we, the United States, recognise that Tibet ispart of the People''s Republic of China, the United Statescontinues to support further dialogue between the governmentof China and the representatives of the Dalai Lama to resolveconcerns and differences, including the preservation of thereligious and cultural identity of the Tibetan people," Obamahad said at a joint news conference with Hu at the WhiteHouse.

The Tibet issue along with that of the human rights wascandidly raised by Obama and his team during talks with theChinese delegation led by Hu at the White House on Wednesday.

Tibet and Taiwan issues were also raised by US lawmakerswhen Hu met them at the Capitol Hill.

"China and the United States are different in history,culture, social system and development level," Hu said. "It isthus only normal that we have some disagreements andfrictions. We should view and handle bilateral relations fromthe strategic and long-term perspective and with a sense ofresponsibility to history and to the future."

"We should prevent our relations from being affected orheld back by any individual incident at any particular time.

We should increase the mutual trust, remove obstacles and worktogether to build a China-US cooperative partnership based onmutual respect and mutual benefits," Hu said.

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