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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 March 2008, 06:53 GMT
China thanks India for Tibet move
Tibetan refugees protest in Dharamsala
India has not allowed large-scale public protests
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has said he "appreciated" the steps taken by Indian authorities in handling protests by Tibetan refugees in the country.

More than 100 refugees were detained in India while attempting to march to the Chinese border last week.

They were marching as part of the global pro-independence protest.

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.

"The Tibetan issue is a very sensitive one in our relations with India," Mr Wen was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

"We appreciate the position and the steps taken by the Indian government in handling Tibetan independence activities masterminded by the Dalai clique."

On Friday, the marchers, who were protesting against China hosting the Olympics, were detained near Dharamsala town, headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile, and placed in custody for 14 days.

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said he hoped the troubles would be solved through dialogue and non-violent means.

"We are distressed by reports of the unsettled situation and violence in Lhasa and by the deaths of innocent people," Mr Mukherjee told parliament during a debate on Tibet on Monday.

His remarks were criticised by some opposition parties, who described them as an "inadequate response".

Mr Mukherjee reiterated that India's policy of non-interference in China was still the same despite recent events.

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