The Minneapolis City Council will vote Friday on a resolution in support of Tibetan self-determination, and the government of China has taken notice.
In a letter Wednesday, the Chinese consul general in Chicago expressed "deep concerns" about the council's plans.
"We firmly oppose the above-mentioned resolution, which completely ignored the basic facts that Tibet has been an inseparable part of China since ancient times and the so-called Tibetan uprising back in 1959 was a full-scale insurrection plotted by a handful of serf owners with the aim to split Tibet from China," wrote Hong Lei, the consul general.
The resolution, which carries the authorship of all 13 members of the City Council, declares March 10 to be Tibet Day, in honor of the 58th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising.
The resolution honors the memory of about 1.2 million Tibetans who have been "killed by the Chinese government," the 145 who have died by self-immolation in protest, and laments the destruction of the world's largest Tibetan Buddhist academy, Larung Gar. The document "urges the government of China to respect Tibetan people's right to self-determination, safeguard their human rights and their pristine environment, and to immediately resume dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration."
Before the meeting where the City Council will vote on the resolution, it and the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota are hosting an event at 8 a.m. Friday to honor the struggles and resistance of Tibetan people.
Hong, in his letter, said China and Minnesota have enjoyed in-depth and growing economic, trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
"We don't want to see the City Council misled by certain groups with ill purposes and support Tibetan separatist activities," Hong wrote, "which will shadow the friendly relationship between China and Minnesota."
Adam Belz • 612-673-4405