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U.S. witness: Chinese police just did their job to preserve peace in Lhasa

2008-04-21

Chinese police just did their job to preserve order and peace in Lhasa, Jim Kreston, 60, who has just returned from three weeks in China and witnessed the riots in Lhasa last month, told Xinhua.

"I cannot use the word 'crackdown' to comment on the Chinese government's dispersal of the riots in Lhasa," said Kreston, an engineer who lives in Wisconsin, a Midwest state in the United States.

"I saw what China accomplished and still find it hard to believe what I saw. What your country has accomplished in the lastten years is hard to believe - even when you see it."

Kreston's family arrived in Lhasa on March 14, the day the riots started, after visiting several other Chinese cities and scenic spots such as Beijing, Xi'an, Chengdu, Wuhan and the Three Gorges Dam.

"We were to stay at the Dhood Gu Hotel, but since that was at the center of the Tibet riots, we were transferred to Xin Ding Hotel. We had a wonderful view of the Portola Palace from our bedroom. But we saw some smoke coming from the area of the riots."

"We were not kept from leaving the hotel except that our tour guide said that she would really appreciate it if we would not leave. The shops and repair places were open across the street and there was a fair amount of pedestrian traffic around the hotel including many monks," Kreston said.

"Most of us went to the roof of the hotel for a better look at the situation. No one kept us from going up there. Everything seemed calm - I wondered at some of the news reports stating that the entire city was in turmoil," he said.

Kreston took an example to express his complaint and disappointment about U.S. media's unfair reports.

"In many American newspapers there are pictures of Chinese soldiers beating some demonstrators with sticks. They said they were Chinese soldiers, but I saw Chinese soldiers, I know how they dressed. In fact they are Nepal soldiers," he said.

"We saw no military and no one carrying weapons. Even at the check points the guards had no weapons," he added.

Commenting on the disruption caused by the Tibetan separatists during the Olympic torch relay, Kreston said, "The Olympic games has nothing to do with the issue of Tibet. And I will be so disappointed with President (George W.) Bush if he doesn't attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games."

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