Washington (AP) China's ambassador to the U.S. says his nation moved against Tibetan protesters to defend law and order and not to suppress religious freedom.
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong said that people have the right to worship.
His remarks reflect an effort by the Beijing government in the run-up to hosting this summer's Olympic Games to counter any damage to its image from the extended crackdown on demonstrators in Tibet and Western China.
Seceretary Of State Condoleezza Rice has appealed publicly to China to hold talks with the dalai lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet who is in exile in India.
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