China Reopens Tibet to Foreign Tourists

Foreigners are once again permitted to travel to following unrest there in March, according to an AP report:

The Himalayan region has been all but closed to the outside world since the biggest protests against Chinese rule in two decades exploded into rioting March 14 in Lhasa, leading Beijing to swiftly shut off the area.

Troops also flooded into predominantly Tibetan communities in nearby provinces, where sympathy demonstrations were occurring. They performed drills in town squares and set up checkpoints around sensitive areas. Officials said the restrictions were established for the safety of foreign tourists and journalists.

China says 22 people died in the anti-government protests. But overseas Tibet supporters say many times that number were killed in the riots and the resulting security crackdown.

A notice on the bureau’s Web site announcing the lifting of the ban said life in Lhasa had returned to normal.

Read also about a foreign journalist’s experience on a government-planned reporting trip to Lhasa for the Olympic torch relay.

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