China’s ambassador to the Netherlands Xue Hanqin was summoned to the Dutch foreign ministry on Monday to hear fears about the crackdown on opponents of Chinese rule in Tibet.
The Netherlands is ‘extremely concerned’ about reports that dozens of protesters have been killed in confrontations with the Chinese authorities, the ministry said in a statement.
Junior foreign minister Frank Timmermans, standing in for Maxime Verhagen, urged the ambassador to find a ‘peaceful solution for the problems causing the current unrest and emphasised the importance of respecting human rights,’ the statement said.
News agency ANP reports that on Saturday Verhagen had declined to confront the ambassador, despite calls that he take action from MPs, saying pressure from the European Union as a whole would be more effective.
The Netherlands has also agreed to do its part in paying for the damage caused during Sunday’s demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in The Hague.
During the demonstration, attended by around 200 people, one protester climbed over the fence, took down the Chinese flag and replaced it with a Tibetan one. The demonstration was organised by Tibet support groups.
As yet, there is no political support in the Netherlands for a boycott of the Olympic Games, scheduled to take place in Beijing this summer.
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