Violence in Tibet strains China's relations with India, Nepal
Tibetans have protested in both countries, which have long accepted Tibetan refugees but restricted their political activities.
Recent violence in Tibet has strained the delicate diplomatic balance between China and two of its neighbors: Nepal and India. The two countries have accepted Tibetan refugees fleeing Chinese rule, but have often restricted pro-independence activities to appease their giant neighbor.Skip to next paragraph
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Anti-Chinese protests broke out in Tibet March 10 on the 49th anniversary of an abortive 1959 uprising against Chinese rule . Since then, Nepal and India have had to move even more carefully as the peaceful protests erupted into riots. In recent days, Chinese officials said the protests have spread to neighboring provinces.
China is facing increased international attention this year as it prepares to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Nepal detained at least 20 Tibetan protesters, including Buddhist monks, on Thursday as they held anti-China protests, Reuters reported. Baton-wielding riot police chased and arrested groups of protesters as they shouted, "stop killings in Tibet."
At least 44 Tibetan exiles shouting "Free Tibet" were detained in the Nepal capital on Monday after police broke up two protests outside a Unied Nations complex, using sticks and tear gas.
The UN said earlier this week it was concerned over the excessive use of force by police against Tibetan protesters in Nepal. Tibetans said they wanted to pressure the UN to investigate a crackdown by Beijing against the March protests.
Some 20,000 Tibetan refugees have lived in Nepal for decades after large numbers starting coming over the icy Himalayan mountain range in 1959. The exiled Tibet Buddhist political and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, called on Sunday for an international probe into the situation in Tibet, which he also fled in 1959, Voice of America reports.
India, Nepal, and Tibet share ancient cultural affinities. Indian missionaries originally brought Buddhism to Tibet in the 10th and 11th centuries. In turn, Tibet served as a repository of rare Buddhist teachings.
Nepal, with only 28.9 million people, is sandwiched between India's 1.1 billion and China's 1.3 billion people. Some 2,500 Tibetans arrive each year after fleeing across the Himalayas. Nepal officially recognizes its neighbor's "One China" policy that sees Tibet and Taiwan as part of China. Most such refugees pass through Nepal to Dharamsala in northern India, the home of the Dalai Lama and his government-in-exile.