U.S. urged to stop using Xizang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs
China on Wednesday urged the United States to stop using Xizang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks in response to a visa sanction imposed by the U.S. against Chinese officials over "forcible assimilation" of children at boarding schools in southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region.
Wang strongly condemned the sanction, saying the U.S. move interfered in China's internal affairs, damaged China's interests and violated the fundamental principles of international relations.
The spokesperson stressed that the human rights situation in Xizang is at its best in history.
In line with international practices, China establishes boarding schools in all provinces and autonomous regions according to local needs, Wang said.
"In the case of China's Xizang, this is a region of high altitude and highly scattered population in many areas. For children from herding families in particular, they have to travel long distances to get to school. If schools were to be built in every place the students live, it would be very difficult to ensure adequate teachers and quality of teaching in each school. That is why boarding schools have been set up as a practical way to ensure all children's equal right to education," the spokesperson explained.
It is entirely up to the students and their parents whether to board or not, Wang stressed, adding that the boarding schools in the Xizang Autonomous Region attach great importance to the participation of students' families.
He listed that parents are invited to take part in the management and planning of school life through parent committees and open days, and students can choose to go home on every weekend, holiday and festival, including traditional Xizang festivals such as the Xizang New Year and the Shoton Festival, as well as during the winter and summer breaks.
Parents can visit their children at school at any time and take them home whenever needed, Wang said. Courses of traditional culture, such as Xizang language and literature and folk dance, are widely available, traditional food unique to the Xizang Plateau is provided, and students are allowed to wear traditional dresses at these schools, he added.
These schools are a vivid example of the protection of human and cultural rights in Xizang, while the so-called forcible assimilation accusations are purely groundless fabrications, he said.
The spokesperson further stressed that Xizang-related affairs are purely China's internal affairs, and China will never allow any external forces to interfere.
He urged the U.S. to recognize the reality of the facts and to keep the commitments made in relation to the issue of Xizang.
The spokesperson warned the U.S. to revoke its wrong decisions immediately. "Otherwise, China will make a resolute and forceful response," Wang noted.
(Cover: Pupils return to dormitory after night classes at a primary school of Zhaxizom Township in Tingri County, Xigaze City, southwest China's Xizang Autonomous Region, June 5, 2023. /Xinhua)