China: Tibet protest aimed at Olympics

March 18, 2008 at 6:59 AM
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BEIJING, March 18 (UPI) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Tuesday the Tibet protests against Chinese rule were aimed at undermining the Beijing Summer Olympics opening in August.

Despite such efforts now or in the future, "I can ensure you that Chinese people are most sincere in their wish to host a successful Olympic Games," he told a news conference in Beijing, Xinhua reported.

He said China has a 5,000-year history and the wish to host the games is a dream shared by Chinese people of many generations.

"I have confidence that the smiles of 1.3 billion people in front of the world will be reciprocated by the smiles of the people from all over the world," Wen said.

The protests last Friday, which included Tibetan monks, on the anniversary of Tibet's 1959 failed uprising against Chinese rule ended in violence in which several died. China says 13 died but Tibetan exiles say at least 80 died.

Wen said the principles of the Olympic Charter say "the games should not be politicized."

The premier also said China will consider organizing a foreign media visit to Lhasa so journalists can see what happened in the Tibetan capital.

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