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2019.05.06 14:59

Tibet leader calls on Lithuania not to “sell its morals” to China

Lobsang Sangay, the leader of the Tibetan government in exile, said on Monday that Lithuania should engage China “without sellings its morals”.

"We are not saying 'do not engage with China'; you should. We are not saying 'do not do business with China'; yes, you must make money, but don't sell your morals," he said in Vilnius.

Lithuania officially considers the Himalayan region of Tibet to be a part of China, but, along with other EU member countries, calls for peaceful regulation of relations between the Chinese administration and Tibetans.

The Tibetan political leader said he came to Lithuania not only to ask for support for Tibet, "but also to test your values and principles".

"Tibet is a test for the whole world, including Lithuania. You cannot say I'm for democracy, I'm for human rights, I'm for environmental rights, but not for Tibetan people. If you are for all these things, then you should speak up and support Tibet," Sangay said at a news conference.  

"If you don't, then you are not for democracy, you are not for human rights, you are not for environmental rights, you are not for Lithuanian values. People fought to enshrine these principles and values into the Lithuanian Constitution," he said.  

Tibet lost its autonomy from China back in 1951 after the Chinese army invaded the territory that had declared independence. Beijing maintains that it liberated Tibet, but many local people accuse the central administration of religious and cultural oppression.