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China praises Nepal for stopping Tibetan protests

December 5, 2008

By BINAJ GURUBACHARYA
 
KATMANDU, Nepal 3 Dec 2008 (AP) — Beijing praised Nepal on Wednesday for banning anti-China protests by Tibetan exiles earlier this year and detaining demonstrators, actions that helped bring the Olympic torch to the top of Mount Everest.
 
Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal where they discussed the Tibetan protests and other issues, Dahal's spokesman Hira Bahadur Thapa said.
 
"The Chinese foreign minister said China appreciates Nepal's alertness and role in controlling anti-China protests," Thapa told reporters after the meeting.
 
"China also urged Nepal to continue with the policy," he said.
 
Nepalese authorities banned anti-China protests by Tibetan exiles in the months preceding the Beijing Olympic Games in August and detained hundreds of protesters.
 
Tibetan exiles in Nepal staged almost daily protests in March to show their support for the unrest that erupted in Tibet's capital, Lhasa. The demonstrations were among the biggest in almost 50 years of Chinese rule.
 
Beijing clamped down with a huge mobilization of paramilitary police. China's government said 22 died in the violence, while supporters of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said the death toll was 140.
 
Many Tibetans insist they had an independent nation before Chinese communist troops invaded in 1950. Beijing says the Himalayan region has been part of China's territory for centuries.
 
"Nepal is an excellent neighbor, friend and partner of China," the Chinese minister said in brief remarks after the meeting.
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