US to try to open consulate in Tibet

Washington: The US would continue with its efforts to open its consulate in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, a State Department official has said, as the top American diplomat in Beijing concluded his six day trip to the Chinese region.

“In terms of the potential for a consulate, that still remains our policy, that, as envisioned in the Tibet Policy Act, we’ll continue to make the best efforts to establish a consulate in Lhasa,” the State Department spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, told reporters at his daily news conferenceon Friday.

The US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, concluded his six-day trip to Tibet on Friday.

“Ambassador Locke met with local officials, including the Tibet Autonomous Region Party Secretary Chen Quanguo and Lhasa Party Secretary Qizhala. He met with leading monks from a number of Lhasa monasteries that attended his meetings with Secretary Chen,” Ventrell said.

“He also called on TAR (Tibetan Autonomous Region) authorities to preserve Tibet’s language, culture, and religion, and expressed our deep concerns over self-immolations,” he said.

Responding to questions, Ventrell said the United States is deeply concerned about the ongoing reports of discrimination against and restrictions on Uighurs and Muslims in China.

“We have urged China to address those counterproductive policies, and we’ve urged a thorough and transparent investigation into some of this violence,” he added.

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