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China seeks explanation on Spanish arrest order for ex-prez

November 20, 2013 16:16 IST

China on Wednesday sought a clarification from Spain over a ruling by a Spanish court issuing arrest warrants against former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and four others for alleged genocide against Tibet, warning that the move would harm bilateral ties.

"We have noted relevant report and have asked the Spanish side to make a clarification," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here answering a question on the Spanish court ruling.

"Overseas Tibet separatists are repeatedly spreading rumours and slander to attack the Chinese government and harm relations between China and relevant countries," he said adding that such attempts are "doomed to fail".

Stating that China's stand on Tibet-related issues was consistent and clear cut, he said, Spain was aware that if the reports are right China would express strong dissatisfaction and opposition to manipulation of the issue.

Spain's national court had issued orders yesterday for the arrest of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and four other top officials as part of a probe into alleged genocide by China against Tibet, while hearing a petition filed by Spanish pro-Tibet rights groups which demanded their arrest for questioning.

Besides Jiang, the others include former Chinese Premier Li Peng, former security and police chief Qiao Shi, Chen Kuiyan, a former Communist Party official in Tibet, and Pen Pelyun, ex-family planning minister.

Reports from Madrid said none them have been formally charged. The Spanish legal system follows the universal justice principle under which genocide suspects can be put on trial outside their home country.

Hong also hit out at Japanese lawmakers for meeting Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. "We firmly oppose any country or any person or government officials meeting him or providing a platform for the Dalai Lama to carry out separatist activities against China," he said.

Last October, China had reacted sharply to a lawsuit in Spain against another former Chinese president Hu Jintao over allegations of human rights abuses in Tibet saying that it amounted to external interference in its domestic affairs.

China's foreign ministry had asserted that Tibet was an inseparable part of China, at the time.

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