US Ambassador to China Visits Tibet Amid Wave of Self-Immolations
This is the first visit by an American ambassador to the region since 2010.
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.