US Ambassador to China Visits Tibet Amid Wave of Self-Immolations

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke Eugene Hoshiko/AP File Photo

The US Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, is in Tibet this week—the first visit by an American ambassador to the restive region since 2010. A spokesman said that Locke is on a three-day trip with members of his family and several embassy staff to meet with residents and government officials and raise concerns about the “deteriorating human rights situation,” specifically the self-immolations by Tibetans in protest against Chinese rule.

At least 120 people, some under the age of 18, have committed suicide by immolation since 2009. Most recently, a 31-year-old Tibetan nun in China’s southwestern Sichuan province set herself on fire on June 11 and died in the hospital a few days later. The Dalai Lama, who is often blamed by Beijing for masterminding the immolations, said after the incident that he doubts their effectiveness.

Read more at Quartz

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