Page last updated at 21:52 GMT, Sunday, 30 March 2008 22:52 UK

China seeks India Tibet backing

Tibet map

A senior Chinese official has urged India to "understand and support" China's policy towards Tibet, following recent unrest there.

State Councillor Dai Bingguo comments came in a telephone call to Indian National Security Adviser MK Narayanan.

Beijing said Mr Narayanan had reiterated that the government in Delhi viewed Tibet as part of China.

Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959.

India is also home to more than 150,000 Tibetan exiles.

Tibet's government-in-exile, based in India, says about 140 people were killed in a crackdown by Chinese security forces since anti-China riots began two weeks ago.

Beijing disputes this, saying 19 people were killed by rioters.

Improved relations

Mr Dai said he hoped Mr Narayanan could "understand and support China's actions" in Tibet.

Tibetan refugees protest in India. File photo
India has not allowed large-scale Tibetan protests

He added that Mr Narayanan responded by saying that the government in Delhi did not support independence for Tibet or allow anti-Chinese actions on India's soil.

The telephone talks followed reports in India's media that China had recently summoned the Indian ambassador to Beijing to voice its concern about Tibetan protests in India.

India has in the past been sympathetic to the Tibetan cause but in recent years Delhi's relations with Beijing have improved.

India has not allowed large-scale public protests for fear of embarrassing Beijing.

Earlier this month, more than 100 Tibetan refugees were detained in India while attempting to march to the Chinese border.

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