Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin speaks at a press conference in Beijing, on Aug 23, 2023. (Photo/fmprc.gov.cn)
China urged the United States on Wednesday to revoke its wrong decision of imposing visa restrictions on Chinese officials over the alleged "forcible assimilation" of Tibetan children in boarding schools, vowing to make resolute and forceful responses.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson said the new restrictions would apply to current and former officials but did not give further details.
Calling the accusations a "pure fabrication", Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin expressed firm opposition to the U.S. move to use Tibet-related issues to impose illegal sanctions on Chinese officials.
The move interferes in China's internal affairs, damages China's interests and violates the basic norms governing international relations, he said.
Wang explained that as a common practice, boarding schools in China are set up according to the needs of local students.
In high-altitude regions where people are scattered across large areas, including in Tibet, boarding schools help solve the problem of students who have to travel long distances to get to school, Wang said.
It is a practical way to centralize education resources and ensure children's equal rights to education, he said.
He said the students are free to return home during holidays and weekends and parents can visit their children or take them home according to their needs at any time.
Traditional culture courses including Tibetan language and dances are also set up, he said, adding the students are free to wear ethnic clothes at school.
Boarding schools in Tibet are vivid examples of ways to protect human rights and cultural traditions in the region, the spokesman said.