2008-04-02 21:48:55 Xinhua English
CAMBRIDGE, Britain, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Any attempt by the separatists who are seeking "Tibet independence" to disturb and sabotage the Beijing Olympics would never succeed, former Chinese foreign minister has said.
A handful of Tibetan separatists are trying to sabotage stability in China and to disturb the forthcoming Beijing Olympic Games. What they are doing is unacceptable and would surely never succeed, Li Zhaoxing, honorary president of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday.
Li, who was Chinese foreign minister, delivered a keynote speech at a two-day international conference on China's three decades of economic reform at the Cambridge University.
When answering a question on Tibet, he told some 200 participants that enough evidence showed the March 14 riot in Lhasa, China's Tibet Autonomous Region, was a political event planned and organized by some violent criminals, and it had nothing to do with human rights or nationalities.
He said the measures taken by the Chinese government to deal with the riots are based on law and supported by more than 110 countries and international organizations in the world.
Li said, "In many countries including Britain, religion and politics are separated. It is hard to imagine what reaction the British people would have if their bishop interfered in politics."
He said during the Yuan Dynasty in the 13th century, Tibet became an inalienable part of China and since then the Tibet issue has been an internal affair of China.
In the past few decades, the central government and local governments spared no efforts to help Tibet develop its economy and paid great respects to the cultural tradition and religious belief of Tibetans.
Li said since the democratic reforms in Tibet in 1959, the average life-span of Tibetans has now increased to 67 years from only 35 years in 1959 and during the last decade, the GDP growth rate in Tibet registered over 10 percent every year, higher than the average of the rest of the country.