BEIJING, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Some Western governments and Tibetan leaders are hyping conflicts between security forces and residents in Sichuan province, Chinese state media claim.
Self-immolations are on the rise in parts of central China. Free Tibet, a rights group based in London, said more than a dozen such acts have been reported by Tibetan activist groups protesting Chinese security measures and the lack of religious freedom.
Last week, the BBC reported that phone and Internet service was cut as part of a crackdown by Chinese security forces.
An editorial published by state-run China Daily claims the West is hyping the security situation in Sichuan province, however.
"It is not uncommon for some Western governments and the so-called Tibetan government-in-exile to play up and distort incidents, such as the one last week between the law enforcement forces and local residents in Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, Sichuan province," the editorial read.
China Daily said security forces in the region were acting in self defense after "mobs" attacked police stations in the central region.
"The clashes caused at least one death and others, including policemen, were injured," the editorial read. It goes on to state that calls for more autonomy have "no solid social foundation" among the Tibetan people.