Beijing expressed anger yesterday after a Spanish judge sought arrest warrants for former Chinese president Jiang Zemin (江澤民) and four other senior officials as part of a probe into alleged genocide in Tibet.
“China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposed to the erroneous acts taken by the Spanish agencies in disregard of China’s position,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said at a regular press briefing.
Hua’s comments came after Spanish High Court Judge Ismael Moreno on Monday ordered Interpol to issue arrest warrants for the five for genocide, torture and crimes against humanity, in a case brought against them by human rights groups.
“Jiang exercised supervisory authority over the people who directly committed abuses, which makes him responsible for acts of torture and other major abuses of human rights perpetrated by his subordinates against the people of Tibet,” Moreno wrote. “He promoted and actively implemented policies whose objective was to populate the Autonomous Region of Tibet with a majority from the Han ethnic group, detain thousands of Tibetans during lengthy periods, torture the detained and submit them to other illegal abuses.”
In addition to Jiang, the judge ordered the arrest of former Chinese premier Li Peng (李鵬) and three others.
Jiang is unlikely ever to appear in a Spanish dock, but Hua blasted what she referred to as overseas groups pursuing Tibetan independence and called for the Spanish government to “see through the Dalai group’s attempt to split the country,” referring to exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Still, she said that as China does not interfere in other countries’ affairs it had no comment on how “domestic forces in Spain deal with” the issue.
“But I believe this incident concerns the sound development of bilateral relations, so we hope that the Spanish government can properly deal with this matter and tell right from wrong,” she added.