March 20, 2008

China's Firestorm

Beijing feels China's getting a raw deal in the western press.

Chinese official media condemned Western news coverage of unrest in Tibet on Thursday, in a commentary that accused the reports of being "hostile" towards China ahead of the Beijing Olympics.

China says the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, masterminded a wave of protests that were capped by a riot in Tibet's capital Lhasa last week and were followed by anti-government demonstrations in ethnic Tibetan parts of China.

"While we highly appreciate the efforts of the global media in seeking facts and providing accurate, objective and timely reporting, we are somewhat disappointed to find, from time to time, rather biased news coverage," the official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary.

The violence in Tibet is straining China's already difficult relationship with India and Nepal. And Germany, recently browbeaten by Beijing over daring to speak to the Dalai Lama.

Ripples throughout western China and Nepal, as reported by The Age.

Tibet's not the only controversy going on in China right now. Don't forget "breakaway province" Taiwan, whose upcoming election is being influenced by the crackdown on the Tibet protests, to the detriment of a candidate who wants closer economic ies with mainland China, Ma Ying-jeou.

Some countries (North Korea, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, and others) express qualified support for China during this time as China admits protests are spreading.

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