|Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks during a press conference after the closing meeting of the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 14, 2012. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)
BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- China opposed Tibetan clergy to take such radical moves of self-immolations to disturb and undermine social harmony, Premier Wen Jiabao said here on Wednesday.
"The young Tibetans are innocent and we feel deeply distressed by their behaviors," Wen told a press conference after the conclusion of the annual parliamentary session.
Wen said, Tibet and the Tibetan-inhabited areas in the four provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan are inseparable parts of China's territory.
The so-called Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala of India is in nature a theocratic one, both under the direct control of Dalai Lama or under his indirect influence, he said.
"Its purpose is to separate Tibet and the Tibetan-inhabited areas from China. We have a firm position and principle on this matter," said the Premier.
"We should respect the Tibetan compatriots' freedom of religious belief and their religious belief is protected by the laws," he said.
Wen also noted that Tibet is still behind the central and eastern parts of China in terms of economic and social progress despite it has made significant progress in the two respects over the past years.
Chinese government has taken strong measures and drafted new plans to accelerate the development in Tibet so as to improve the people's living standard there, said Wen.
The Premier stressed that the government should pay attention to protect Tibet's eco-environment, cultures and traditions while developing its economy.
"We must treat all of our Tibetan compatriots with equals and respect and make continous improvement of our work in this field," said Wen.
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Special Report: NPC, CPPCC Annual Sessions 2012