Czech President Criticizes China for Human Rights Violations
Apr. 22, 1996
PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) _ Czech President Vaclav Havel criticized China's human rights policy Monday and called for political dialogue on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet.
Havel, who met Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen at the end of his three-day visit to Prague, said China should allow Tibet some autonomy and realize that Taiwan, although part of China, has long existed as a separate entity.
China has drawn international criticism for its steadfast policies on Taiwan and Tibet, regions that it sees as seeking independence.
``I'm not fighting for Tibet's independence,'' Havel said. ``But I would welcome dialogue with the Dalai Lama about a certain degree of autonomy.''
Havel is known to be a friend of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.
China, one of the few world's remaining communist states, has also faced strong criticism for its human rights policy.
``I expressed my worries about those who are persecuted in China for their political opinions,'' Havel said.
Havel also called for dialogue between Taiwan and the mainland, noting that although the two ``are geographically and historically one country, for long decades they have existed as two political entities.''