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Olympic spirit won't die, says China
Raghvendra in Beijing | April 08, 2008 09:18 IST
China on Tuesday strongly condemned disruption of the Olympic torch relay in Paris and London by pro-Tibetan protesters calling it 'despicable activities', even as it asserted that it would not bow to 'outside pressure' to make concessions on the Tibet issue.
"We express strong condemnation of the deliberate disruption of the Olympic torch relay by 'Tibetan independence' separatist forces regardless of the Olympic spirit and the law of Britain and France," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said.
China's response came as the Beijing Olympics flame was extinguished four times in Paris on Monday during anti-China protests by Tibetan activists who tried to disrupt the relay run, forcing officials to bring it on board a bus.
"Their despicable activities tarnish the lofty Olympic spirit and challenge all the people loving the Olympic Games around the world," Jiang said.
China was convinced that nobody could impede the Olympic spirit and the concept of 'peace, friendship and progress' represented by the Olympic torch, official Xinhua news agency quoted her as saying.
In a separate reaction, Jiang said foreign media reports that the Olympic torch was forced to be extinguished during the relay in Paris were false, adding, the modes of the relay were temporarily changed to safeguard the security and dignity of the Olympic torch 'under the circumstances' there.
The state media made brief mention about attempts to disrupt the torch relay in London and Paris and said it received a warm welcome.
A commentary released by Xinhua after the Paris protests said China would not bow to 'outside pressure', as it lashed out at a move by the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others for a proposed resolution, urging Beijing to end its crackdown in Tibet and to enter in to 'substantive' dialogue with the Dalai Lama.
'This is a typical example of confusing right with wrong,' it said, repeating China's charge that the riots in Lhasa were violent acts 'premeditated, organized and masterminded by the Dalai clique', which refers to supporters of the Tibetan leader.
China was ready for talks with the Dalai Lama if he abandoned advocating 'Tibet independence' and stopped activities aimed at splitting the nation and at sabotaging the Olympics and if he accepted Tibet and Taiwan as inalienable parts of China, it said.
Pelosi had incurred the anger of China after she met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala in India recently and extended her full support to the Tibetan movement, saying that what happened in Tibet was a 'challenge to the conscience' of the world.The commentary said if Pelosi and others 'cling to their unpopular course', it would harm China-US relations.
The growth of China-US relations has brought tangible benefits and contributed to world peace, stability and development, but those with the 'Cold War mentality' were still trying to distort the truth with bias and disrupt harmony with discord, it said.