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China appreciates France's commitment on Tibet

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- China said here Thursday it appreciates France's explicit commitment on not backing any form of "Tibetan independence".

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the remarks at a regular press briefing here Thursday.

China and France released a joint press communiqué both in Beijing and Paris on April 1.

The communiqué says that "France fully recognizes the importance and sensitivity of the Tibet issue and reaffirms its adherence to the one-China policy and the position that Tibet is an integral part of the Chinese territory, in accordance with the decision made by General Charles de Gaulle, which has not changed and will remain unchanged. Based on this spirit and the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs, France refuses to support any form of "Tibet independence".

"France made a solemn commitment," Qin said. "France's position is explicit and the meaning very clear and we hope France can abide by the principles and the spirit set forth in the communiqué."

"China has always attached great importance to China-France relations and is willing to work with France to enhance communication and cooperation in line with the basic principles of international relations including mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and treating each other on an equal footing, so as to promote the sound and stable development of their comprehensive strategic partnership," said Qin.

Qin noted, "There was no country in the world that recognized Tibet independence and the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile. The international community had seen clearly that the Tibetan secessionists were separating China and harming its diplomatic ties with other countries."

Qin reiterated China's positions on the Tibet issue.

"We oppose the Dalai Lama engaging in activities overseas aimed at splitting the motherland under any name or pretext."

"We are resolutely opposed to any leaders or personages having official contact with the Dalai Lama and we are opposed to any foreign country interfering in China's internal affairs on this issue," he added.

According to Qin, what China requires other countries, including France, to do is to abide by international laws and regulations.

"The Chinese government didn't ask other countries to do anything beyond this sphere," he said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in London on Wednesday ahead of a Group of 20 summit on the global financial crisis scheduled for Thursday, signifying the restoration of bilateral ties soured by the French leader's meeting with leading Tibetan separatist the Dalai Lama.

The meeting also came hours after China and France issued a press communiqué on Wednesday that said the two sides "attach great importance to China-France relations" and reiterated their adherence to the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

Relations hit a low after French President Nicolas Sarkozy held a private meeting with the Dalai Lama last year in Poland when France held the rotating presidency of the European Union. China postponed the 11th China-EU Summit and lodged a strong protest against the meeting, saying it "severely undermined China's core interests."



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