China irked at Spanish court order

DHARAMSHALA, November 20: China on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over a Spanish court’s orders to issue arrest warrants to former Chinese leaders including retired Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Beijing strongly opposes the court's move and warned of damages in the two sides' ties. “We urge Spain to face up to China’s solemn position, change the wrong decision, repair the severe damage, and refrain from sending wrong signals to the Tibetan-independence forces and hurting China-Spain relations,” Hong said.

The Associated Press cited Spain’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman who said she had no comment about China’s reaction to the orders

Acting on a universal justice principle, Spain’s National Court on Tuesday gave orders to issue arrest warrants to the Chinese leaders.

Zhu Weiqun, former head of the United Front Work Department with whom the Tibetan representatives of the Dalai Lama met ten times between 2002 and 2010, said, “This is an absurd act, and those harboring the idea will only embarrass themselves.” Zhu, who now is the director of the ethnicity and religion committee of the People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory panel to China’s legislature, said that Western countries threatened China with warships in the past, but that now they cannot, they therefore try to intimidate Beijing with lawsuits.

Hong leveled criticisms at pro-Tibet groups, saying they have made “false accusations through libel and defamation in a futile attempt to attack the Chinese government.”

“This despicable act is doomed to fail,” Hong said.

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