Friday, April 27, 2007
China Deports Americans Over Tibet Olympic Protest
By REUTERS | The New York Times
27 April 2007
China deported five American tourists after they demonstrated for a free Tibet and protested against the 2008 Beijing Olympics at the base of Mount Everest, and said it had urged Washington to prevent a recurrence.
China made ``solemn representation'' with the United States, demanding it ensure American tourists abide by Chinese laws and not engage in any illegal activities, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
``The U.S. side ... should prevent similar incidents from happening again,'' the ministry said in a faxed statement.
``Tibet is an inseparable part of China. The Chinese government and people will never tolerate any activities aimed at splitting China,'' the ministry said.
It did not identify the five or give details of what they did.
China has ruled Tibet with an iron fist since People's Liberation Army troops occupied the region in 1950 and has vowed to bring economic prosperity to the poor Himalayan region.
Students for a Free Tibet said four protesters, including a Tibetan-American, unfurled a banner reading ``One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008'' in English, and one in Tibetan and Chinese saying ``Free Tibet.''
The four were at a base camp on the Tibetan side of Mount Everest, which is being used by a Chinese team doing trial runs to take the Olympic torch up the mountain, the group said, adding the information had come via text message.
``One World, one Dream'' is the motto for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Beijing officials have said the Olympic torch will enter Tibet after ascending the southern slope of Mount Everest -- known in China by its Tibetan name, Qomalangma -- in Nepal.
The ministry did not give a reason for the discrepancy in the number of protestors.
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