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China urges UK to mend ties


08:30, May 08, 2013

BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged the United Kingdom on Tuesday to respect its concern on Tibet-related issues and take concrete actions to bring bilateral relations back to the track of development.

"China hopes the British side will earnestly respect its concern on the Tibet-related issues and take concrete actions to create favorable conditions for bilateral relations to grow," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press conference in Beijing.

However, the spokeswoman did not elaborate on what the concrete actions would be.

Hua acknowledged that China-UK relations were damaged by British leaders' meeting with the Dalai Lama last May, noting China's clear and firm position on the Tibet issue, and its unswerving determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"China values its relations with the United Kingdom and reckons the stable and healthy development of bilateral ties serves the interests of the two peoples," she added.

The spokeswoman reiterated the Chinese government's stern opposition to the secessionist activities of the Dalai Lama, as well foreign leaders' acceptance of meetings with him in any form.

"The position on the issue is clear and consistent," Hua stressed, adding that the diplomatic departments of the two nations have always maintained close contacts.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg together met in London on May 14, 2012 with the Dalai Lama, who is described by the Chinese government as "a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China secessionist activities in the name of religion."

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