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Statement by the Chinese Embassy in London

Recently violence involving beating, smashing, looting and arson broke out in Lhasa. Some rioters smashed vehicles and public facilities, torched down private houses, stores and schools and attacked security forces. Innocent people were injured or even killed on the street in extremely cruel manner. The incident has seriously disrupted order in Lhasa and inflicted heavy loss of lives and property for the people. These organized and premeditated incident in Lhasa revealed that the constant claims made by Dalai and his followers that they pursue no independence but peaceful dialogue are not true. In strict keeping with the Constitution and laws, local government exercised maximum restraint while trying hard to calm down the situation and protect the interests of the people in Lhasa and Tibet. The situation there is returning to normal and so will other ethnic Tibetan-inhabited areas. The unrest in other parts in nearby provinces is also getting under control.

The "Tibet independent" forces have been staging protests in front of the Chinese Embassy in London and some showed tendency of violence. In the afternoon of 15 March, scores of protesters tried to force into the Embassy. The police on duty was cornered at the door until reinforcement came. In the afternoon of 17 March, about hundred of protesters suddenly broke out of the police cordon, screaming while throwing things at the Embassy windows. They were trying to force towards the Embassy door. The police forces effectively stopped them. On 22 March these people are planning to come back again in bigger crowd for parade.

Such incidents are happening on the Chinese Embassy in many other countries in disregard of international and local laws. This is a good opportunity to expose their true face as their behaviour very well betrayed their claims of "peaceful protest".

According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, foreign missions in Britain are protected by the Government of the countries where they reside and the local police. The British police are fulfilling their duties. The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has promised to the Chinese Premier that the safety of the Chinese Embassy and its staff will be ensured.

The incident in Lhasa has become clearer. Though some media has been siding with violence and carried distorted reports, we believe that with more people coming out of Tibet are giving their eye witness accounts, people will be able to make better judgement. Facts cannot be covered. It can be stated that the Chinese Government will make its utmost to prevent more violence, bloodshed and conflicts in order to safeguard social stability and interests of people of all ethnic groups.

In 30 years since reform and opening up, China has registered great achievements that have been acknowledged by the whole world. Rule of law and social development have progressed in an all-round way. Despite multiple difficulties and challenges, China will move on and Tibet will continue to move on. Any one who has been to China including Tibet will be able to see the changes. The Chinese people including Tibetans are strongly against the separatist and violent act.

The ethnic Chinese and students living and studying here are indignant with what happened in Tibet and in front of the Chinese Embassy in London. Many of them expressed their desire to hold rally or parade against the violence. The Embassy understands their feeling. Nonetheless it hopes that they will exercise calm and have full trust in the Chinese Government and the Embassy.

The Chinese Government and Embassy in London encourage the Chinese residing in Britain to obey local laws, respect local culture and customs and integrate into the local communities, thus acting as a bridge of friendship between China and Britain. The Embassy will release information in a timely manner through its website.

(Demonsters tried to break into the Chinese Embassy on March 15th, 2008)

(Demonstrators clashed with police at the Chinese Embassy on March 17)